Last night my husband I had the pleasure of being invited as guests to an evening at the Westchester Philharmonic. It was just luck to have chosen a night when Japanese conductor Tonoma Nishimoto and Ann Hobson Pilot, a well-known harpist, were joining forces and performing together on stage. To say that it was a real treat is a bit of an understatement.
Nishimoto led the Westchester Philharmonic though Liszt’s haunting symphonic poem, Les Preludes, Rimsky-Korsakov’s exultant Scheherezade and Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer John Williams’ On Willows and Birches, commissioned to honor Pilot. At age 41, Nishimoto has captured attention around the world. She uses her entire body to conduct the orchestra and it’s mesmerizing to watch. And Pilot, who apparently retired in 2009, returned to the stage as soloist opening the BSO and Carnegie Hall seasons with the premiere of On Willows and Birches, composed for her by Williams himself. Their collaboration was quite electrifying.
While we did get a sitter, we realize now that this would have been a perfect show to take our 7 and 8 year old children. They are both learning instruments (violin, piano and guitar) and would have been intrigued by the coordination and symmetry of the orchestra.
We were once again reminded about how you don’t have to live in NYC to experience great talent and we hope to take advantage of future shows at the Westchester Philharmonic. Future events include Winter Pops: Broadway’s Classic Hits with Kelly O’Hara, Ted Sperling and Ben Davis on December 18th at 3pm, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, soloist leader, on April 14th at 8pm and on April 14th at 3pm and George Manahan, conductor, and Branford Marsalis, Saxophone, on May 19th at 8pm and May 20th at 3pm.
All performances will take place in The Concert Hall at The Performing Arts Center Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York. Four concert subscriptions are now available and range from $330-$94. Single tickets range from $90-$25. Student/child/group discounts are available.
To purchase tickets and for additional information call the Westchester Philharmonic Box Office at (914) 682-3707 ext. 10, or visit atwww.westchesterphil.org.
Disclosure: I received these tickets complimentary to facilitate this review, but all opinions are my own.