By Alexandria Woolfe
Samuel Braiman, the Conservatory Concerto competition winner, gathered music lovers to Whitman Hall as he performed with the Brooklyn College Conservatory Orchestra on Mar. 30 in the Claire Tow Theater.
Having won this year’s competition in February, Braiman was awarded the opportunity to perform as a soloist. On the violin, Braiman led the orchestra during the first half of the night’s exciting performances. Playing Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64,” Braiman shined on stage with a relatively upbeat pace.
One concertgoer was more than happy to cheer Braiman on. Cindy Bobé, a self-proclaimed huge fan of Braiman, mentioned that she’s been attending Sam’s concerts for a year.
“Sam’s soloist was my favorite part,” she said. “The music takes me to a different place.”
The applause that Braiman was met with, however, didn’t carry over past intermission. Noticeably, quite a few audience members cleared out during a confusing intermission where those in charge did not instruct concertgoers a brief break was in place.
The second piece of the night was Gounod’s “Symphony No. 1 in D major.” Though also upbeat in the first movement, the second and third movements had a more soothing quality to them. The entire piece did not garner the same audience reaction as the exciting first half. Perhaps it was because of less violin bow trembles. While watching the performance, my mind was thinking of watching ballroom dancing. I could envision long ball gowns swaying across polished floors.
Both pieces felt like a refreshing start to the spring season because of their airy nature. Each movement in Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto” is specifically highlighted to display Braiman’s talent on the violin, a solo at the start of every movement. That being said, the music did not totally grasp me or most of the audience throughout the whole show.