Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reno Philharmonic Lights Up the Pioneer Center

I had the pleasure of attending Reno Philharmonic's "Latin Temptation" at Reno's Pioneer Center last night. I had seen one prior show—a cowboy poetry and music performance—at Pioneer Center, but this was completely different in almost every aspect.

The Reno Philharmonic, led this season by music director and conductor Laura Jackson, performs regularly at the venue. Jackson spoke before the show to members of the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network and said, "This is where I want to be." Her flamboyancy and energy during the performance backed that statement up. You can tell Jackson enjoys what she does, and her stage presence alone makes it worth seeing one of the Phil's remaining shows.

Although I don't consider myself a classical music buff, I was thoroughly entertained, especially by the opening act, which featured selections from Georges Bizet's Carmen. Click here for a sampling.

Event though the pace was a little slow at times for my taste, accordion extraordinaire Peter Soave put on an amazing show playing to the music of Astor Piazolla. The night ended with a tribute to Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Apparently, Jackson has a sense of humor as well. After intermission, she said to the crowd, "I wonder how many of you have been to a Latin show where two-thirds of the music is French."

Hey, it was an entertaining two hours, and that's all that matters.

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