Newly appointed principal guest conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Kevin John Edusei will make his Dallas Symphony debut in concerts Jan. 7-9. He’ll conduct well-known works by Ravel and a rarely heard violin concerto by British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, with American violinist Elena Urioste.
Of African and European heritage, like Edusei, Coleridge-Taylor was largely forgotten after his death in 1912, at the age of 37. Yet interest in his music has spiked over the last several years, especially during the recent reckoning around race in America.
His Violin Concerto blends folk and late romantic styles, revealing influences from Dvorak and Elgar. It may come across as repetitive and uninspired at times, but Edusei (pronounced “eh-DOO-see”) believes it deserves a wider audience.
“Everyone who loves violin concertos should know it,” said Edusei, who’s teamed up with Urioste in past performances of it. “It’s definitely a very exciting addition to the traditional repertoire.”
Although trained at the Curtis Institute and Juilliard School, Urioste is not your typical violinist. She’s also a writer, entrepreneur and certified yoga teacher.
Rounding out the program will be Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso, Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 and Bolero.
What can DSO audiences expect from Edusei?
With the Fort Worth Symphony, in September, his clear gestures elicited expressive nuances from the orchestra, stretching time or pushing ahead as needed. He also demonstrated a firm command of musical structure, drawing connections between passages.
Born to a Ghanaian father and a German mother in 1976, Edusei studied conducting at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, in the Netherlands. He also worked with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival and with Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös at the Lucerne Festival Academy.
Now in his eighth and final season as chief conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Edusei previously served as chief conductor of the Bern Opera in Switzerland.
Considering Edusei’s background in the Germanic tradition, it makes sense that his 2023 FWSO programs will heavily feature Mozart, Schumann and Brahms.
For future FWSO concerts, Edusei said he also wants to dig up forgotten works by early 20th-century Germanic composers, such as Austrians Franz Schreker and Alexander Zemlinsky.
DetailsDSO concerts, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 and Jan. 8 and 3 p.m. Jan. 9 at Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. $35 to $187. Video stream will be available Jan. 18. Single concert $10; season pass $125. 214-849-4376, dallassymphony.org.
SOURCE- Dallas Morning News