The Far East Tour of the IPO began with a return visit to the Bangkok Festival of Dance and Music under the patronage of the Queen of Thailand. The symphonic part of the concert was Mozart’s Linz Symphony and Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.
Opening the concert was a special treat for the audience, Vivaldi’s concerto for 4 violins performed as Vivaldi probably first heard it, with four women of the orchestra playing the solo parts: Saida Barlev, Genia Pikovsky, Sharon Cohen and Polina Yehudin. Vivaldi was the violin instructor and resident composer at Ospedale della Pieta in Venice, an orphanage where boys learned trades and young women learned violin. Many of his ensemble pieces were written for his students. A string ensemble composed entirely of gentlemen from the orchestra and led by Maestro Mehta accompanied the ladies in the concerto.
If four queens for one concert are not enough, the Queen of Thailand also came on stage and presented Maestro Mehta and the Orchestra with a gift of flowers; 5 Queens in one concert!