“Of course, merely providing push, exposure and guest conducting opportunities won’t amount to much if the talent to go the distance isn’t there. And in that respect Alsop appears to have chosen well with her new and recent mentorees: the 2022-24 Taki Alsop conducting fellow Anna Duczmal-Mróz, along with alumnae Laura Jackson and Jeri Lynne Johnson, each making her CSO debut on Friday.
A native of Poland who heads that country’s Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Duczmal-Mróz got her Ravinia moment at the top of Friday’s program, which held the first CSO performance of Source Code by Jessie Montgomery, the orchestra’s current composer-in-residence.
The trouble with the string-ensemble version heard on Friday is that the affecting intimacy of expression of the original is sacrificed to creating a fat, rather amorphous string sonority—something essential feels missing. That said, Duczmal-Mróz’s clear beat, vigorous body language and fluid control worked to accentuate the positive, resulting in a fervent reading. Her career progress will bear watching.”
By John von Rhein
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