Today we focus on the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra (APO), the world’s fifth LGBT Orchestra, with a review of their most recent concert and information about their upcoming Winter Concert in February.
The APO was founded in December 2004 with an inaugural concert in December 2005. It’s five-part mission statement includes the education of members and audiences, entertainment for Atlanta and Georgia residents, fellowship among members and supporters, affirmation of the LGBT community to the public, and growth of other LGBT symphony orchestras in other cities.
The most recent performance by the APO was Saturday November 14th, at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, under the baton of conductor Mirna Ogrizovic-Ciric. On the program: Rossini’s Overture to Cinderella, Haydn’s Symphony no. 1, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 23 in A, with guest pianist Paolo Andre Gualdi. The Rossini was effervescent, lively, and jocular. This should be performed more often. The acoustics at St. Bartholomew were kind to the instrumentalists and every section seemed clear for the sold-out audience. Next, the Haydn (Clock) symphony: very well performed, but at times a little rushed. Haydn was lively and a crowd-pleaser, however. After a brief intermission, guest pianist Paolo Andre Gualdi performed the Mozart. He had a wonderfully accurate touch with impressive dynamic control and melodic intuition. The orchestra laid a clear, solid background, and Mr. Gualdi leapt in with perfect timing. The crowd kept quiet to hear each note from the pianist, especially during the heartbreakingly beautiful and haunting Andante.
The APO next performs on February 6th, again at St. Bartholomew, with guest cellist Martin Gueorguiev. The program will feature selections including Bizet’s Carmen, Saint Saens’ The Swan, and Haydn’s Concerto in D for Cello. The concert begins at 7:00 pm, and tickets are available online at www.atlantaphilharmonic.org or at the door for $15 and $20.