April on Art and Music
In the Palm Beaches and Beyond
Twenty-four year old Andrei Ionita proved that the cello is the most romantic of all instruments last Thursday April 17th at Trinity Church in West Palm Beach. From the first moment of the concert, Ionita hypnotized the audience. The cello he was playing sang, soared, moaned, and flirted. The sound he elicited appeared to depend not just on what was written by the composers, but even more on the emotions he generated playing each piece.
The concert was part of the Young Artists Series sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach. Ionita was accompanied by Naoko Sonoda on the piano in her first performance in the United States.
Right from the joyful opening of the first selection—18th century composer Pietro Locatelli’s Sonata in D Major—Romanian-born Ionita showed complete of his instrument and the ability to vary moods as if the cello were alive in his hands. It is no wonder he won a Gold Medal at the 2015 XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and was on his way to perform April 19 at Carnegie Hall.
The Locatelli was in some ways the showcase piece of the evening. It was followed by two 20th century pieces followed—Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne and Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40. Of the two, the Shostakovich was the most satisfying, perhaps because of its plaintive and brooding first movement—or the way in which the piano melodies intertwined so completely with the cello at certain points. No matter, all three pieces captured the hearts of the audience.
As the evening drew to a close, it was clear the audience wanted more. Fortunately, there was only two weeks to wait until the next performance in the 2017-2018 season of the Young Artists Series. It will take place Wednesday, April 25 at 6 pm at the Breakers in Palm Beach, and feature a new trio composed of violinist Arnaud Sussman and pianist Orian Weiss, both winners of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. They will be joined by cellist Colin Carr.
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