Sunday, November 26, 2023


Alexander Gilman, artistic director

Snow Concert Hall, Red Hill, 25 November


Reviewed by Len Power


In their first Australian concert, The Young Soloists, an award-winning group of young virtuosos between the ages of 14 and 23, showed why their world-class reputation has preceded them.

Established in 2013 by violinist Alexander Gilman, who plays in the orchestra, the group members perform as soloists with the orchestra, accompany each other, and share their passion for music. They have performed in many of the prestigious concert halls in the world.

In the first half of the concert, the ensemble performed a wide-ranging program of works by the composers Holst, Bruch, Paganini, Skoryk and Bottesini.

The whole orchestra commenced with Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite”, a work full of colour with dramatic moments that clearly showed the skill and passion of these players.

Alexander Gilman (4th from left in foreground) and The Young Soloists

“Kol Nidrei” by Bruch was the second item, with 14 year old Lyam Chenaux playing solo cello with the orchestra. His assured performance of this well-known work was one of the highlights of the concert. Chenaux may not yet be as tall as his cello but he showed he will be a giant in the music world in years to come.

Lyam Chenaux

Paganini’s “La Campanella” from Concerto No.2 is a formidable work for any violinist to play. Ji Eun Park skilfully played the solo part on viola, giving it a rich, appealing sound.  There was a second Paganini work, the ‘Variation on the Moses theme by Rossini” and Tara Stranegger played the solo cello part with great sensitivity and passion.

The “Melody” by Skoryk was given a beautiful, romantic performance by Agnes Oberndorfer on solo viola and Clarissa Bevilacqua on solo violin and Alexander Heather on solo double bass played Bottesini’s “Gran Duo Concertante”, giving an electrifying performance of this dynamic work. They made parts of it seem like a good-natured duel between their instruments.

The second half of the program was a performance of Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 9 (‘Kreutzer’) Op. 47 for Violin and Strings”. Haeun Honney Kim played the solo part on a rare and priceless Stradivarius “Kreutzer” violin.

Haeun Honney Kim and the Stradivarius "Kreuzer" violin

The first movement was full of drama with an excellent performance by Kim. The second movement with its beautiful melodies and then its rousing finale made this a memorable performance by the orchestra and soloist deserving of the standing ovation given by the audience.

Two encores followed – “Czardas” by Monti with Emmanuel Webb on solo violin and Alexander Heather on solo double bass and a superb arrangement of, surprisingly, “Yankee Doodle” with Haeun Honney Kim on solo violin.


Photos by Peter Hislop


This review was first published by Canberra CityNews digital edition on 26 November 2023.

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at