I really enjoy concerts — especially by symphony orchestras. I made some notes about some concerts over the years and eventually put the information in a database. I had thought I would keep it up to date but it ended up taking too much time. The web does a better job than I could at reviewing concerts and the social networks take care of sharing the information. I wish I could remember all of the great concerts from my very first which I believe was by the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1970’s. There are some concerts here that are not by symphonies, and there are others that do not appear here.
Denim and Diamonds with Clint Black by Clint Black
Rating: 5. Annual Playhouse Gala. Clint Black was awesome. Very down to earth. Six guys in the band were also great.
Broadway and the Theatre with the Boston Pops by Conducted by Keith Lockhart. Several guest vocalists.
Rating: 3. Hollywood and Broadway are not my favorite composers nor was this the kind of music I like. Nevertheless, the performers and conductor were outstanding as usual and the standing ovations brought two encores and a wrap-up with Stars and Stripes Forever. Hard to top that!
Doo-Wop Spectacular by The Passions (“Just to be with You”), Kenny Vance and the Planotones (“Looking for an Echo”), Vito Picone and the Elegants (“little Star”, The Del-Vikings (“Come go with Me”), and Cleveland Still and the Dubs (“Could This Be Magic?”)
Rating: 5. Amazing how these guys keep going, some of them have been singing for more than fifty years!
Wildflower Music Festival by Time For Three
Rating: 5. All three were trained at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. It was an amazing performance which blended bluegrass, classical, jazz and original compositions from Brahms to the Beatles. The talent and creativity were electrifying.
Mama Mia by The Cast
Rating: 5. Not as far in the past as Mozart et al but a lot of nostalgia.
UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra by Maxim Vengerov, Conductor and Violinist
Rating: 5. He is less than half the age of Lorin Maazel but has the same potential. He conducted with a bow in hand and also performed the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4. He then conducted the Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and the great Sinfonia concertante — all without a score.
New York Philharmonic by Lorin Maazel. All-Brahms program with the Academic Festival Orchestra and Julia Fischer
Rating: 5. I now know why reviewers have described her as “not a talent, but a full-fledged phenomenal violinist”.
New York Philharmonic by Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, the “Great” G minor symphony. “Eroica”, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3
Rating: 5. The strength of every section of the orchestra was overwhelming and the great acoustic characteristics in the Zoellner Center just amplified them to perfection.
HippieFest 2006 by Mitch Ryder, Rare Earth, Country Joe McDonald, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Mountain with Leslie West and Corky Laing, Badfinger with Joey Molland, Melanie, Canned Heat, and Denny Laine
Rating: 4. Great music, but ear plugs needed
Barge Music by Dmitri Alexeev
Rating: 4. The unsung hero of the evening was Olga Bloom — a very unpretentious 87 year-old former symphony violinist who greeted us as we boarded the barge and offered a glass of wine
Conducting Beethoven by John Patrick conducting Beethoven
Rating: 5. Not that I was a 5 but the orchestra was
9th Annual Doo-Wop and Oldies Spectacular by Classics of the 50s & 60s.Featuring Emil Stucchio and the Classics, Kenny Vance and the Planotones, (Looking for an Echo)
Rating: 5. This was another great trip down memory lane.
The Boys Choir of Harlem by The Boys Choir of Harlem
Rating: 4. The performance was great but the best part is that the students almost all graduate from high school and go on to college. It was easy to tell that the standing ovation came from the heart.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra by Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff
Rating: 5. We will all remember Rui Shi’s rendition of Rachmaninoff in Ridgefield under the direction of Sidney Rothstein.
The Temptations by The Temptations
Rating: 5. The real thing. Motown with a contemporary flair.
8th Annual Doo-Wop and Oldies Spectacular by Various
Rating: 5. Classics of the 50s & 60s.Featuring Emil Stucchio and the Classics (Till Then), The Shangri-Las, (Leader of the Pack and Remember Walking in the Sand), Kenny Vance and the Planotones, (Looking for an Echo), and the Emotions, (“The Nearest Thing To Heaven”).
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – More of Music to Love. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Overture to L’italiana in Algeri by Rossini, Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor by Saint-Saens, Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – “Marvelous Mozart – III “. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by All MozartOverture to Cosi fan tutte, Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra, Symphony No. 36 in C Major
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – Energetic Music to Love. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Domenico Cimarosa. Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D performed by Aaron Rosand. BrahmsSymphony No. 1
Mozart and Ravel quartets by The Takacs Quartet
Rating: 5. Incredible performance. Best quartet I have ever heard anywhere.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – “Marvelous Mozart” – Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by All Mozart. Robert Dias and Elissa Lee Koljonen.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – Overture to The Magic Flute, Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, Symphony No. 25, Symphony No. 2. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Mozart, Spohr, Shumann.The Tourmaline Quartet.
Rating: 5. My first conducting experience.The Quartet was awesome.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Wagner, Rachmaninoff, Martucci, Respighi
Rating: 5. Features were Piano Concerto No. 1 performed by Emi Nakajima and The Pines of Rome by Respighi
The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra – An evening of Broadway and Pop – Conducted by Keith Lockhart by Berstein, Chadwick, Copland, Gershwin and others
Rating: 5. Briliant conducting by Lockhart. An outdoor concert with a very patriotic flavor.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – Russian Romantics. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Andrew Armstrong – pianist. Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3. Spartacus by Khachaturian. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.
Rating: 5. Incredible evening. Brilliant performance by all. Most complex piano piece I have ever heard.
Festival of Song Gala by the Ridgefield Opera Company by Opera singing from Mozart, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Donizetti, Puccini, et al.
Rating: 4. Great local performers.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – Marvelous Mozart. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein. by Symphony #No. 1 in E-flat Major, Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, and Symphony No. 41 in C (The Jupiter). Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Pianist Rui Shi.
Rating: 5. Incredible Mozart concert. Sold out attendance. Rui Shi is a rising young star from China. She is winning awards left and right around the world.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – An Evening of Opera. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein. by Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Aida ,Richard Wagner: Siegfried and Die Gotterdammerung. Heather Thomson, soprano, Perry Price, tenor, The Connecticut Master Chorale
Rating: 4. Outstanding vocal performance with excellent orchestra as bonus.
Tito Puente Orchestra by Tito Puente Orchestra
Rating: 3. Latin American music. Combination Latin and Jazz. A very enjoyable change of pace in my musical listening.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – Slavonic Dances. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein. by Scenes from the Csarda and Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius. Dvorak, Jeno Hubay with soloist Charles Castleman, and Jean Sibelius
Rating: 4. Commenced with “God Bless America” with arrangement by an anonymous person from Reading, Pennsylvania.
An Evening of Caberet at the Ridgefield Playhouse by Debbie Gravitte with Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
Rating: 3. Incredible talent which lives in Ridgefield. Annual Gala Benefit.
The Bacon Brothers at The Ridgefield Playhouse by Kevin and Michael Bacon
Rating: 4. Mostly written by Kevin or Michael. Great melodies and harmonizing vocals.
Marcus Roberts at Avery Fisher Hall by Solo Piano by Marcus Roberts. Introduced by Wynton Marsalis.
Rating: 5. Incredible jazz improvization. Fantastic renditions. Amazing talent. It was spectacular.
Stamford Syphony Plays Pops by Guest conductor Jeff Tyzik. One O’Clock Jump, Sophisticated Lady, Caravan, The Man I love, Miller Memories et al.
Jose Feliciano in Concert at the Opening Night of The Ridgefield Playhouse for Movies and the Performing Arts. by Wide assortment of light rock, spanish, and music composed by the performer. With Tyler McHugh, Keyboard, Tyger McNeal, Drums, Scott Breadman, Percussionist, and Kenny Owens, Bass.
Rating: 4. Extraordinary talent. Incredible guitar work on both electric and acoustic. Brilliant execution as a group. Flawless.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein. by Fanfare from La Peri by Paul Dukas. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastoral) by Ludwig van Beethoven. Concerto for Violin in D Major, Op. 77. Guest soloist Elissa Lee Koljonen, violinist.
Rating: 5. Masterful job by Maestro Rothstein in perfectly blending the outstanding orchestra with the brilliant performance of Ms. Koljonen.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – RSO Goes Jazz. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Marvin Stamm quartet. Ellington, Bernstein, Copland, Kern, and more.
Rating: 5. Fantastic concert. Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Rufus Reid (bass), Bill Mays (piano), and Ed Soph (drums) were brilliant. Maestro Rothstein blended the orchestra and the Jazz quartet masterfully.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Overture to The Flying Dutchman, Richard Wagner. Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37. Ludwig van Beethoven. Symphony No. 3 in D minor. Gustav Mahler
Rating: 4. Marcantonio Barone, pianist
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Overture to Hermann and Dorothea. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major. Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Rating: 5. Performed by Rui Shi. Chinese 16 year old girl. She was truly an outstanding performer to hear and charming to meet.
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Sidney Rothstein by Lesginka. Aram Khachaturian (1903-1970). Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18. Sergei Rachmaninoff. Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Rating: 5. Performed by Santiago Rodriguez. World class artistry. Charming to meet. Second time I have heard him and met him. He is truly outstanding.
End of List (there are no more entries!).