Philharmonic’s Tovey has Covid — former student steps in

The Cranston Herald ·

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra met a major challenge last weekend when Maestro Bramwell Tovey came down with Covid while visiting family in Sweden.

Two days before the concert, Nathaniel Efthimiou — former student of Tovey’s at Boston University and current Assistant Conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony — stepped in to lead the orchestra in a rousing rendition of the popular Beethoven’s Fifth, earning a well-deserved standing ovation at Friday’s Rush Hour concert.

Saturday night’s annual Side-by-Side concert piece with the Rhode Island Youth Orchestra was postponed until the March 19 because of COVID concerns.

We enjoy attending the Friday Rush Hour series because they start at 6:30 p.m. instead of the Saturday 8 p.m. time, allowing us to get home earlier.

In addition to the Beethoven’s Fifth, we were treated to Brahms “Violin Concerto. Op. 77. D major, featuring one of the most dynamic young musicians we have ever seen.

Benjamin Beilman has won international praise for his passionate performances and deep rich tone.

In spite of the cold weather and the pandemic, the Philharmonic once again showed its determination to follow the adage that “The Show Must Go On.”

And it will on Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. and Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. when we will be treated to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” Barber’s Cello Concerto with guest artist Oliver Herbert (Saturday only) and Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra.” Guest conductor Lina Gonzalez-Granados will be at the podium.

For tickets and information, call 248-7000.

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