Perth Concert Hall
April 8, 2018
Dan Ettinger made his conducting debut with the West Australia Symphony Orchestra over the weekend with Argentinean piano soloist Ingrid Fliter. The rather conservative program consisted of romantic Russian and German warhorses but the unconventional interpretations from the guest artists kept me bolt upright all evening.
Ettinger is an Israeli conductor and protégé of Daniel Barenboim (as is WASO’s principal conductor Asher Fisch) and is currently chief conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic. The program opened with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and on Saturday night Ettinger’s bravura propelled the orchestra to a bracing finale and drew shouts of excitement from the audience. It was a good start.
Pianist Ingrid Fliter. Photo © Susie Ahlburg
Ingrid Fliter joined the orchestra for Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No 1, a youthful, virtuosic work that surprisingly hasn’t been performed by WASO for over 40 years. Fliter made a nervous, fidgety arrival on stage. I’m not sure if I found her quirky mannerisms (wiping the keyboard, avoiding eye contact, using a score rather than playing from memory) refreshingly authentic or a distraction. Once she began to play however her focus was unwavering...