The Daily Gamecock

Renowned musicians featured in USC Symphony's Beethoven concert

<p>On Tuesday, renowned musician Donald Portnoy conducted the USC Symphony Orchestra All-Beethoven concert.</p>
On Tuesday, renowned musician Donald Portnoy conducted the USC Symphony Orchestra All-Beethoven concert.

Guest violinist Vadim Gluzman performed in the USC Symphony Orchestra's All-Beethoven Concert on Tuesday at the Koger Center for the Arts. 

Donald Portnoy, a world-renowned musician, conducted the symphony as it played three main pieces. The first, "The Creatures of Prometheus" Overture ebbs and flows between soft, sweet sounds and thunderous, regal dimensions.  The second piece, Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, is comprised of four movements, which were a mixture of interwoven rhythms and echoing melodies full of riveting and pompous reverberations. 

After a brief intermission, the orchestra played the final piece, Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61, comprised of three movements. In this piece, the USC Symphony Orchestra highlighted the incredible musical abilities of Gluzman, who plays regularly with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. Gluzman plays music as if it's a language and not simply notes on a page, bringing Beethoven to life for listeners.

“The guest artist, Vadim Gluzman, was technically and musically precise to the highest degree," Hannah Knott, a cellist in the USC Symphony Orchestra, said. "His sound brought tears to our eyes and inspired us to work even harder.”

Gluzman was also a favorite among the concert attendees as his vivacious manner captured the audience’s ears and hearts. First-year undecided student Athena Marousis said, “My favorite part was the featured violinist because he played for over half an hour completely from memory, standing up."

Zane Nayfeh, first-year physics student, was stunned. “It is unbelievably beautiful."

Performing such high-level pieces at a professional level required many hours of practice. Utmost dedication was required from all members of the orchestra, and their efforts were proudly on display throughout all the movements of the concert.

“We rehearse about five hours a week, meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays in the afternoons,” Knott said.

For that reason alone, it is worth seeing the incredible effort that these students put into playing their instruments. “(The) people that are performing spend many years practicing to get to the point they are now," Marousis said. "So if we could just take out an hour of our time to appreciate years of hard work, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for."

The symphony members seemed just as thrilled to be there as concertgoers, relaying the passion they have for making music to those present. “I want people to know that classical music is alive and well," Knott said. "We all love being able to play for the city of Columbia and share our hard work with you all."

The All-Beethoven concert was alive, well and breathtaking — definitely more than worthy of a few hours on a Tuesday night.