News Column

Maestro's masterpieces for moms

May 8, 2014

By Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times, Mass.

May 08--Award-winning violinist Tessa Lark will join the Cape Ann Symphony for "Totally Mozart for Mother's Day," an all-Mozart concert Saturday night at the Manchester Essex Regional High School auditorium.

"We wanted to do something that was light and upbeat, and I think Mozart's music is the personification of that," said Yoichi Udagawa, the Cape Ann Symphony music director and conductor. "So of course the program will include his great overture to the 'The Marriage of Figaro,' which is light, super quick and exciting."

Two more masterpieces of which Mozart's mom Anna could be proud are on the program; the exotic Violin Concerto No. 5 which features Lark, the special guest musician, and Mozart's final symphony, Symphony No. 41, nicknamed "Jupiter."

There is an open rehearsal on Friday evening.

"Mozart is considered one of the greatest composers ever. His music is pure, balanced, expressive, intellectual, emotional, and balanced," Udagawa said.

The conductor praised the talents of Lark, who he described as a rising star and extraordinary young violinist.

"She will absolutely make the audience go wild. I recently had the opportunity to work with her, and I can say that I've rarely heard an audience respond so enthusiastically to a soloist," Udagawa said. "Her Mozart is gorgeous and Mozart is kind of considered in classical music the ultimate challenge. It requires top-notch musicianship and she plays Mozart like nobody's business."

The 24-year-old Lark has been winning awards for years. She was recently named a 2014 recipient of a career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund, which resulted in the upcoming release of her debut CD recording of Telemann's "Twelve Fantasies for Solo Violin." In 2012, she won the coveted Naumburg International Violin Award. Lark started playing violin at age 6. She now plays a Tononi violin, made in 1675, on loan to her from the Ravinia Festival.

The concert program will close with the "Jupiter" symphony, which the conductor called "sparkling and beautiful."

Udagawa will highlight a small section of about 15 seconds before the symphony performs this last piece.

"It shows his compositional virtuosity. In this little section, he combines five different themes simultaneously and it's something to behold," said Udagawa. "I'm going to take it apart for the audience. When you realize all that is going on, you will think how could somebody come up with this kind of thing and still have it sound good?"

Lark, a Kentucky native, has other talents.

"It turns out that she is not only a brilliant classical player, she is also a bluegrass fiddling virtuoso," said Udagawa. "And if everyone claps like crazy, maybe she will do a bluegrass encore. That is something to behold because she often will kick off her shoes and start tapping the floor barefoot. I have seen her do that and the audiences go berserk."

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or at

Mozart for moms

What and who: Totally Mozart for Mother's Day by Cape Ann Symphony with rising star violinist Tessa Lark.

When: Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m.

Where: Manchester Essex Regional High School auditorium, 36 Lincoln St. in Manchester.

How much: $35 for adults, $30 for senior citizens, $20 for 19- to 24 year-olds, and free age 18 and younger.

Open rehearsal: Friday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. with the conductor, guest artist and orchestra. Admission is $10 for adults and free for ages 18 and younger.

Details: For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit


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Source: Gloucester Daily Times (MA)

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