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Dallas Critics Name Meadows Performances Among Region’s Best of 2012

SMU was the only university to have student performances included in the lists

Local media critics have picked Meadows School music and dance events as among the top 10 regional concerts of the year. SMU was the only university to have student performances included in the lists.

Dallas Morning News classical music critic Scott Cantrell named the Meadows Symphony Orchestra’s April “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony as #9 on his roster of most memorable performances; he wrote, “Led by Paul Phillips, SMU’s student orchestra continues to amaze.” In his review, Cantrell said, “Had you been led in blindfolded, with no knowledge of who was playing the Mahler Ninth Symphony, you might have assumed some famous orchestra, led by a maestro of uncanny command and sensitivity."

TheaterJones dance critic Margaret Putnam chose the November Fall Dance Concert as #7 on her list of favorite local performances: “Showing off its range of styles, the Meadows Dance Ensemble tackled classical ballet with aplomb in Dr. Mel A. Tomlinson’s La Coeur de Ballet (the heart of ballet) while shifting to wired-up nerve in Billy Siegenfeld’s Getting There. It was all late-night, drop-your-guard feel in Bruce Wood’s Zing a Little Zong, supported by live music.”

Morning News dance critic Manny Mendoza picked the SMU Spring and Fall Dance Concerts as #10 on his list, saying, “SMU is one of several North Texas colleges with dance programs so good that they present professional-grade concerts. In 2012, the SMU shows were highlighted by the sensual island charm of professor Danny Buraczeski’s Song Awakened and the casual elegance of Bruce Wood’s show-tune-fueled Zing a Little Zong.”

Area professional performances by Meadows faculty members also received accolades on the “Top 10” lists.

The Dallas Opera’s February production of Tristan und Isolde, starring Meadows voice department head Clifton Forbis, was the number one pick of TheaterJones classical music critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, who called the singing “astonishing.” The same production was #3 on Scott Cantrell’s list; he wrote, “It was one of the company’s greatest triumphs of the 21st century, with powerful portrayals of Wagner’s doomed lovers by Clifton Forbis and Jean-Michèle Charbonnet.”

In addition, Cantrell named the October concert by Meadows piano artist Alessio Bax for the new Dallas City Performance Hall as #6: “Although Bax is Italian by birth, Dallas has a certain claim to him thanks to his study with Joaquín Achúcarro at SMU, and he was based here for a number of years. New York is now home, but Bax is back frequently to teach and perform… he delivered a seasoned and sensitive master’s account of Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Ravel.” Cantrell also named Bax’s Brahms: Piano Works one of the year’s top 5 classical CDs.

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