With an array of special guest artists and music from aross the centuries, Maestro Robert W. Butts and The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey warmed the winter afternoon for a wonderful audience.
The featured artist was violist Brett Deubner interpreting the expressive Viola Concerto of 18th century composer Franz Anton Hoffmeister. Mr. Deubner perforrms regularly with the New Jersey Symphony. He has become one of the world's leading performers of old and new repertoire for the viola.
Other special guests included Dr. Anne Matlack conducting the Grace Church Choirs, violinist Avery Scott, and pianist John Pivarnik performing the world premiere of Piano Concerto by John Ivor Alexander.
The concert was nicely reviewed by Sheila Abrams, writing for njartsmaven.com. Ms. Abrams wrote: "Deubner’s playing was spectacular, fast, precise and on target, conveying great passion. These traits were also vividly displayed in the short but flashy encore he played: “Obsession,” by Maurizio Bignone. This world premiere reflected its title with great intensity." Of Alexander's work, Ms. Abrams wrote: "In an era when contemporary music can mean virtually anything, this piece, Piano Concerto in D Minor by John Ivor Alexander, was a very happy surprise. Harkening back to the Baroque, Alexander’s music, with John Pivarnik at the keyboard, has the crystalline quality of Bach and Vivaldi."