News - 27 Oct 2022

Newsletter October/November: Amalia Hall - Violin Soloist

I’m so thrilled to be performing Mendelssohn’s beautiful violin concerto with Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and maestro James Judd.

I absolutely loved working with James earlier this year, when we played Corigliano’s Red Violin Chaconne with the NZSO, along with the last movement of Mendelssohn as a surprise encore! It’s an honour to work with him after seeing him conduct the NZSO for so long during my formative years - and he also conducted the Curtis Symphony Orchestra while I was a student at Curtis which was a wonderful experience.

The Mendelssohn Concerto has been in my life since a very young age - in fact, apparently when I was 4 years old I attempted to play the opening passage in an effort to emulate my sister Lara who was playing it! In my teens I toured the South Island playing it with the Auckland Youth Orchestra, and then performed it in Italy a number of times: first of all with I Virtuosi Italiani, and later I performed it on a tour with the Filarmonica Marchigiana Orchestra.

The opening is instantly recognisable for the turbulent, melancholic yet heart-felt beauty of the first theme, with the way it reaches upwards then falls back down, and tries again and again before exploding into a flurry of stormy triplets. There is so much lyricism in this concerto, and this is contrasted with real drama, so the soloist has to be prepared for the utmost legato playing along with plenty of scintillating articulation to keep the shimmering energy throughout the concerto, which winds its way through simplistic, hummable melodies and finishes with a brilliant display of technical fireworks in the last movement.

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