On Saturday, April 2, 2011 I attended my first professional orchestra concert and my ears were very pleased. I sat next to my dad with anticipation not really sure what to expect. I chose this particular concert because I have some interest in playing the piano although I currently play the trombone. Before the concert began I heard the orchestra practice and I could tell they were a really good orchestra. The building was massive and seemed like a perfect home for a great orchestra. Severance Hall is the last of the cultural centers in the museum district that I visited. I didn’t imagine it would be so grand. That evening the hall was very crowded so I assumed the presenters were very good and popular.

The first piece the orchestra played was Allegretto from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. This selection along with the others for the night was dedicated to the people in Japan. The selection was followed by a moment of silence. I thought it was very thoughtful of the orchestra to do this. I really liked this one as it kind of gave me a feeling of the tragedy that happened in Japan and the spirit to overcome. I thought this was one of the best performances of that night. I think the strings outplayed themselves. This is a selection that I would like to learn to play.

The second piece they played was Symphony No. 96 (“Miracle”) in D major. This one was also very good but I really didn’t think there was much that distinguished it from the other pieces I heard that evening. It was probably the longest piece we heard.

The third selection of the evening was the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18. This was my personal favorite. I liked how the orchestra played their parts at the same time as pianist, Horacio Gutierrez, played sort of a solo. The orchestra playing along with a pianist reminded me of my first trombone solo when I was accompanied by a pianist. I really liked a piano being played in an orchestra concert. The piano selection is what attracted me to this particular concert. I believe this performance was the shortest one played. At the end there was a piano solo which I thought was amazing. If I didn’t say it enough, this was my overall favourite!

The last selection the orchestra played was Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Opus 70. This one was also good but to me it did not differ much from the second symphony played. Maybe as I study music further, I’ll be able to notice more differences. Still, the orchestra’s performance was really good especially the finale. I could feel the intensity with which they played this piece. It definitely deserved to be at the end to conclude with a sort of bang.

In the end this concert was really worth attending. I will definitely ask to see the Cleveland Orchestra again. I recommend this performance to anyone else thinking of seeing the orchestra soon. The Cleveland Orchestra was great and the musicians put a lot of work and emotion into their performance. We have a great orchestra here in Cleveland and definitely not one to be passed up.

Tyler L. Jordan, aged 14

Cleveland Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek conducting with Horacio Gutierrez, Piano Haydn, Symphony no. 96 in D major, "Miracle" Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto no. 2 in C minor, Op.18 Dvořák, Symphony no. 7 in D minor, Op.70 Severance Hall Saturdy 2nd April 2011

©Clive Barda