Symphony of the Americas: Hispanic and Italian Heritage Tribute
Review by Camryn Handler
As a young artist heavily involved and devoted to the arts, it is always a pleasure when I get to go to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and see spectacular performances. Of course, Broadway shows and dance concerts are always my first choice, but I am consistently surprised by the enjoyment and pleasure I get from watching classical and jazz concerts. Earlier this month, I had the honor of seeing Symphony of the Americas first show of their 30th season: Hispanic and Italian Heritage Tribute Legendary Lecuona. I sat down expecting a run of the mill, monotonous classical concert, but came out buzzed on the excitement, bliss, and comfort I felt throughout the entire performance.
The orchestra was composed of a diverse and talented group of musicians, including the internationally acclaimed pianist, Thomas Tirino. Having performed in the United States, Europe, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean in prestigious halls such as the Bolshoi Philharmonic in Moscow, Symphony Hall in Boston, and Toranomon Hall in Tokyo, Tirino is thought of to be one of the leading interpreters of Ernesto Lecuona, as well as a brilliant upholder of Spanish/Latin American music. He has had the honor of performing with many orchestras, including the Boston Pops, Polish National Symphony, Krakow Radio Orchestra, Portland Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional, and more. He never disappoints in concerts, even the Sun Sentinel Times wrote that “his performances have reached legendary status.” Other awards and praises include the Gina Bachauer Award from Juilliard, the Mikimoto Prize in Tokyo, and the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia as the first American to perform there. With all these amazing credits, it was no surprise that I was completely blown away by his talent in grace performing with the Symphony of the Americas.
The concert was dedicated to Hispanic and Italian Heritage Month, pointing a spotlight on some of the famous and most influential Hispanic and Italian composers/musicians. The orchestra played pieces from Gioachino Rossini (known for The Barber of Seville and La Cenerentola), Gaetano Donizetti (known for operatic dramas labeled “Queen Trilogy”), Arturo Marquez (a part of the widely known Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela), and Ernesto Lecuona, a staple in Cuban culture and music all around the world. The orchestra played beautifully together, with no one note or person sticking out. The harmonious balance echoed from the stage to the audience, sucking us into the calm yet powerful sounds. My favorite part of the concert was when Thomas Tirino shared one of his own originals, showing us his own personal style and music choice. His big personality and enjoyable present made me and the rest of the audience feel like we were watching an old friend perform. I will surely never forget this classical concert.
Although this will be a hard one to beat, I’m looking forward to the other Symphony of the Americas performances this year. As I get older, I start to appreciate classical music and the origins of this genre, and I really hope I can spread that recognition and curiosity to the other young artists in my age group. If you have never listened or seen Thomas Tirino in concert, I highly suggest researching him and exploring his other works in previous years. In addition, come to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for more classical concerts and lovely nights filled with theater, love, and happiness