The first three words written at the top of the Palau De Les Arts Reina Sofía programme when describing Andrés Orozco-Estrada are ‘Energy, elegance and spirit.’ These words are not an exaggeration. The conductor embodies these qualities in every movement, every expression and each moment he holds the attention of both the orchestra and the audience.
Orozco-Estrada showcased unwavering talent conducting the Orquestra De La Comunitat Valenciana in a night of breath-taking classical music. On the evening of May 10th, the Colombian conductor graced the stage at the Palau De Les Arts Reina Sofía opera house, giving the audience a performance nothing short of majestic.
Born in Medellin, Orozco-Estrada studied music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Uroš Lajovic, a student of the legendary Hans Swarowsky. He was principal conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2014 to 2021, synonymously conducting the Houston Symphony Orchestra as Music Director from 2014 to 2022. He was also chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra from 2020 to 2022.
The night of the performance, the auditorium was packed full of bright-eyed spectators piling in to take their seats to play witness to the mastery. Orozco-Estrada kicked off the first section with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘Symphony 41’, commonly nicknamed ‘the Jupiter Symphony’. Considering this is often described as Mozart’s most complex symphony, Orozco-Estrada elegantly supported the orchestra through the upbeat and dynamic elements of the music. The moment the instruments began to play, Orozco-Estrada took charge of the stage and guided every instrument through his animated expressions and hand movements to achieve absolute perfection.
The second section was followed by Béla Bartók’s ‘Concerto For Orchestra’. For this marvellous symphony, Orozco-Estrada conducted a broader range of instruments. The orchestra was composed of an astoundingly talented group of individuals who, together, became one well-oiled machine. On the stage sat over a dozen violinists and behind them were cellists and bass players. A variety of brass and woodwind instrument players and percussionists were placed atop the back of the stage. Two harpists were positioned to the side, who took on a brief but majestic solo in Bartók’s ‘Concerto For Orchestra’. Orozco-Estrada communicated with each musician through almost imperceptible movements, demonstrating his connection with every person on stage. Working as one holistic being, each sound played in perfect timing – a level of elegance and dedication that comes from years of hard work.
The Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana was founded in 2006 by Lorin Maazel, its first musical director. The orchestra has quickly claimed prestige among audiences and critics, having reached a level of artistry that places it among the best orchestras in Spain. It is also one of the most significant orchestras in Europe, and understandably so.
The night was steeped in sophistication, emotion and unmatched talent. For those considering visiting the opera house to witness classical music, the answer should be a resounding ‘yes’.
Report by Emily Bray
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
All photos copyright Emily Bray / ‘24/7 Valencia’
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