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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, June 12, 2024

BSO’s spring program welcomes the next generation of classical musicianship

Randall Goosby performs the celebrated Bruch violin concerto in his BSO debut.

Boston Symphony Orchestra

The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs “The Rite of Spring” on Jan. 26.

American violinist Randall Goosby made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on the Symphony Hall stage on Feb. 2, the first of two performances.

Conducted by Andris Nelsons, BSO began their Feb. 3 program by performing the overture to “The Wreckers” (1906). Composed by Dame Ethel Smyth, a prominent English composer and suffragist who studied at the Leipzig Conservatory alongside Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, the piece is considered one of the most important operatic works in the English canon. For the second piece of the program, Goosby arrived on stage, performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, with “Louisiana Blues Strut” (2000) as his encore piece, both with astounding musical sensitivity and virtuosic technical ability.

Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor (1866) is the most popular and acclaimed violin concerto by composer Max Bruch and is considered a staple piece in the violin repertoire. In fact, its status soars above its Bruch concerto peers to such a great degree that it is simply referred to as the Bruch concerto. The concerto is classified in the Romantic period of German classical music, and its cadenzas and virtuosic double-stops, deep and melodious second movement and its energetic finale have made it one of the most recognizable and recorded pieces in classical music.

Goosby’s encore piece, played between the first and second movement of the Bruch violin concerto, was Louisiana Blues Strut by American composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. A brief but energizing piece, its sliding use of dissonance, double stops and rhythmic creativity reflects a fusion of classical music, blues, jazz and Black folk music that inspired much of Perkinson’s orchestral compositions.

At just 28 years old, the Juilliard graduate studied under the likes of Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho and has already released two classical music albums. Goosby demonstrated tremendous musical promise from an early age, debuting with the Jacksonville Symphony at age 9, performing with the New York Philharmonic at age 13 and signing exclusively with Decca Classics at age 24.

Aside from his performance commitments, Goosby is also motivated to share classical music in a way that promotes its accessibility to the general public. Following the performance, Goosby took the time to meet with a small cohort of young students backstage. Goosby represents the next generation of energetic, talented and passionate classical musicians who continue to perform not only the classics of the Western canon but also the masterpieces of composers who were not thoroughly appreciated during their time. Indeed, his performance is one of the many today that demonstrates that classical music has not been carried off into the graves of old men but continues to exist in performance halls across the world, reborn every night.