Friday, April 18, 2008, was a night to remember. The Charlotte Symphony Music Director candidate number four, James Gaffigan, is a musician with a huge future. Modest, restrained, yet exuberant in his musicality, this 29-year-old conductor is the strongest candidate of the three seen by this reviewer. [I was unable to attend the concert of the first candidate, Edwin Outwater, so my opinion is not comprehensive.]
This concert will be performed again, tonight — Saturday, April 19, 2008 — at the Blumenthal Center in Charlotte.
Gaffigan, originally a bassoonist, has garnered an impressive collection of accolades, including a Conducting Fellowship at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center, outside of Boston, and study at the Aspen Music Academy. He is currently the Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (Music Director, Michael Tilson Thomas) and has already conducted an impressive number of major orchestras, including both the Cleveland Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as major orchestras in many other US cities and in major European cities.
Yet he is only 29 years old!
There is another year in the Queen City’s Music Director search, which might uncover another gem. But gems of the caliber of Gaffigan are rare! Charlotte should move fast! This man has a magnificent career before him.
Through Saturday April 19 - Charlotte
CSO Classics 9: Elmar Oliveira, violin, Charlotte Symphony, James Gaffigan*, conductor [MD candidate]
Program: Barber: Essay No. 2 for Orchestra, Op. 21, & Violin Concerto, Op. 14; & Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (“From the New World”)
Belk Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, 130 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte. 8:00 p.m.
$71-$15, student rush $10. 704/972-2000 or http://www.charlottesymphony.org/.
*"...Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony...."
Editor's note: We'll do all we can to post a full review by noon today (4/19/08).