Tania Miller scores big at Philharmonic opening


Saturday night’s 78th season opening of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra concert series was a bittersweet experience as the past two beloved conductors were remembered for their legacy.

Larry Rachcleff and Bramwell Tovey both passed away last year. Rachleff led the orchestra and music school for 20 years, raising the RI Philharmonic to a world class orchestra. Tovey led the orchestra for two years through the height of the pandemic, taking the podium during his battle with cancer while inspiring the orchestra to even newer heights.

Canadian conductor Tania Miller has been named Interim Principal Conductor for the 2022-2023 season.

If her performance was any indication of her talents and enthusiasm for the music, the Board made the right decision. She received one of the longest standing ovations in recent history following her interpretation of Strauss’ Zarathustra.

Miller’s sparkling personality shone through as she explained the piece (“You’ll recognize the first two minutes. . . and none of the rest”) and passionately talked to the audience about her love of music and the influences it has on her.

The brilliant young cellist, Sterling Elliot dazzled the audience with his playing of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, op. 85. E minor,. The concert opened with a new work by Quinn Mason.

Mason, Elliott and Miller took to the stage following the concert for a talk back with members of the audience who were smart enough to stay and interact with these three great musicians.

There were some empty seats toward the back of the Vets (and they are all new seats with cup holders).

This outstanding orchestra deserves to be playing to a sold-out audience every time they perform.

The next concert will be Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. at Vets.

Pianist Olga Kern will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Following intermission, the orchestra will play Beethoven’s Symphony No.7.

Guest conductor is Kensho Watanabe.

Notice more diversity? The orchestra is certainly coming of age.

The first Amica Rush Hour concert will be the night before, Friday, Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m..

For tickets to both concerts, call 248-7000.


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