Milwaukee Symphony explores friendly confines of Pabst Theater

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Elaine Schmidt

Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan joined the orchestra to open the program's second half with a completely captivating performance of Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rococo Theme."

Playing with complete technical command and musical freedom, Hakhnazaryan gave an extraordinarily communicative performance.

Using an enormous dynamic range and huge palette of sonic colors, he moved from intense, driven passages to light, playful, almost teasing phrases elsewhere. He effectively reached out to his audience in some spots and pulled them in others, winning a standing ovation.

Gernon and the orchestra gave a highly supportive, sensitive performance of the piece's orchestra accompaniment, matching Hakhnazaryan's musical intent at every turn.

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