EDMOND—Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers joined the Mozart Orchestra of New York under conductor Gerard Schwarz on November 1 in a performance for more than 460 guests at Armstrong Auditorium. The event was the second concert of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation’s 20th-anniversary performing arts season.
Concertgoers and others streaming online at live.ArmstrongAuditorium.org watched the 45-piece Mozart Orchestra of New York begin a program of music entirely by 18th-century German composer Felix Mendelssohn. The program began with his Hebrides Overture, written after the composer’s trip to Scotland—an intense and energetic piece almost simulating a rush of adrenaline.
Following this, Meyers, whose 2012 and 2014 albums debuted at number one on U.S. Billboard Charts, came onstage for Mendelssohn’s violin concerto. Chasing the first notes from the orchestra was Meyers’s crystal tone, floating over the sound.
Meyers performs on the world’s most valuable violin, a Guarneri del Gesu worth more than $15.9 million, purchased for an undisclosed amount by an anonymous auction winner and donated to her to use for life.
Meyers has performed more than once at Ambassador Auditorium, the venue that inspired Armstrong Auditorium’s construction. Conductor Gerard Schwarz, who has received 13 Grammy nominations and six Emmy Awards, also has a history at Ambassador Auditorium, where he served as resident conductor for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in the early 1980s.
The second movement of Mendelssohn’s concerto provided a solemn reminiscence that included passages of energized requests from the orchestra. Following the final note of the acrobatic third movement, the crowd erupted in sustained applause and continuous shouts of approval.
While guests chatted and partook of refreshments during the 20-minute intermission, Meyers appeared in the lobby to sign autographs and take photos with visitors. Also featured in the lobby as background music, both before the performance and during intermission, were string players from the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra.
The second half consisted entirely of Mendelssohn’s fourth symphony—subtitled Italian, and a work resulting from the composer’s trip to Italy.
Following the last note of the last movement, and lengthy applause from the audience, Schwarz indicated his group would play an encore. He told the audience it would not be right if the orchestra did not play at least one piece by its namesake: Their encore was Mozart’s familiar overture to The Marriage of Figaro.
The foundation’s 20th-anniversary concert season continues on November 20 with its fifth presentation of the Vienna Boys Choir.