Judy Park performs Bartok Concerto No. 3
March 20, 2010, 12:35PM
In ten seasons with the semi-pro Portland Columbia Symphony, conductor Huw Edwards has improved the ensemble’s sound and broadened its range with challenging programming. Friday night’s concert presented a typically ambitious pairing worthy of any major orchestra – Béla Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, the powerful “Pathétique” – in an uneven but ultimately winning performance.
Former Portland piano wunderkind Judy Park, a prominent figure in the city’s youth music scene now studying with Jon Kimura Parker at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, returned as guest soloist in the Bartók, bringing her strength, precision and candor. She crunched the opening figures, dominated the lively dialogues between piano and orchestra, solemnly intoned the chorale-like passages of the Adagio religioso and chewed up the third-movement fugue in thrilling fashion.