The Boston Symphony Orchestra started the new year well with two programs under the direction of guest conductor François-Xavier Roth, who hails now from Cologne and is very active in Europe, much sought after. Conducting without baton, vigorous and engaged, Roth holds the players’ attention and gets what he wants. Orchestra and audience alike feel caught up in an unusually tense and purposeful address to the music at hand.
Two gifts were bestowed upon me this Christmastide. The first, the arrival of a subtle and finely-tuned vocal ensemble, Auriel Camerata, Deirdre Michael, Executive Director, was very welcome. This group, comprised of singers from as far away as Boston, showed great skill in their recent concert in Glenville, New York. There was no over-singing, tuning was excellent, and the selections were not only enjoyable, but inventive. Artistic Director and Conductor Derek Stannard was the impassioned leader of the flock. The repertoire was carefully chosen and adventurous.