REVIEWS

"Norwalk has one of the best Symphonies in the state, and its own secret weapon in Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry, who specializes in finding creative ways to make the music fresh, accessible and exciting."

THE ADVOCATE (CT)

"The Allentown Symphony goes beyond.... Wittry's performance of the Brahms Symphony No. 2 carried itself with a distinctively airy, transparent sonority."

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER (PA)

"Under the baton of Diane Wittry, the Mozart Serenade No. 10 in B-flat was played with very impressive wind ensemble sound and phrasing that nearly made this Mozart fan think he had died and gone to heaven."

THE WASHINGTON POST (D.C.)

"First and foremost, Diane Wittry is an outstanding musician and conductor ... she clearly articulates her ideas, achieves immediate musical results, and possesses impeccable baton technique."

SYMPHONY MAGAZINE (NY)

"Under the inspiring baton of Diane Wittry, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra confronted one of the genuine behemoths of the symphonic literature, Mahler's Second (the "Resurrection") last weekend. Any way you look at it - technically, musically, or even philosophically - this monumental work is difficult. The orchestra, along with the symphony choir directed by George Boyer, met the challenge, probably the most daunting one in the ensemble's history. The ensemble and its chorus proved that it could pass any musical test, no matter how daunting..... Altogether a terrific, memorable concert."

THE MORNING CALL ( PA)

"Wittry established her presence immediately. Focused energy, buoyant stick patterns, and a refreshingly diverse collection of accents and cues, all from a remarkably stable posture. It was clear that the talented musicians deeply responded to her. Her energy is strong and consistent, paced and constructive."

THE ADVOCATE (CT)

"The orchestra was headed by the passionate guest conductor Diane Wittry, who gave the audience informative background on all the pieces performed ... she directed the musicians with swift, yet graceful hand movements. The music was remarkable enough to put the audience into a hypnotized, trance-like state, their eyes glued to the stage. The audience burst into applause as the orchestra concluded their performance with an astounding finale."

THE GRIFFIN (NY)

"Diane Wittry has now established a deep history of surprising and innovative musical programs that weave diverse forms of creativity.... An event like this required preparation well beyond the call of duty. It also required that ideas are shaped more than a year in advance so that everything can be made ready. For sheer creativity and initiative, this event was in a league of its own."

THE ADVOCATE (CT)

"The Penn's Woods Festival orchestra has never sounded better. The response to Wittry was of overall respect, cooperation and enthusiasm. She led the orchestra in a witty, concise, extroverted performance.... Wittry was an excellent guest artist, one who would be welcomed back again."

CENTRE DAILY TIMES (PA)

"Reviewers don't usually jump up and and shout Bravo! at the beginning, middle, and end of a concert, so I didn't. But I am shouting it now. Maestra Diane Wittry has honed the orchestra into a symphony of enormous strength. Each section shines, giving the impression of one tight note held in place and enhanced by strings, horns, and timpani…. The orchestra's response and continued interpretation was filled with the strength that comes from a combination of musicianship and inspiration."

THE BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE (TX)

"Under the baton of music director Diane Wittry, the challenging Ninth (Beethoven) was performed energetically, maintaining the dramatic tension throughout, but without losing the intimacy of the sublime third movement."

THE MORNING CALL (PA)

"Wittry's skill - besides her superior talent as a musician - is the ability to build a rapport with all kinds of people, those who are fans of the symphony and those who are new to what one like the Symphony of Southeast Texas can offer. A long time ticket holder points to Wittry's friendliness, her vitality and her outreach programs that bring music to the community, as some of her strong points. Her influence has been profound, beautiful and, hopefully, lasting."

THE BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE (TX)

"Diane Wittry conducted the entire evening without a baton and in this overture (Merry Wives of Windsor) and the Sibelius (The Tempest) that followed I think the two open hands contributed to soft and rich string sonority, particularly from the second violin and viola sections, which were outstanding throughout the first half.... The musical interpretation of the Sibelius was the high-point of the evening. Confident string playing absolutely took over the place. From the full ringing sonorities of Prospero's chorale-like music to the down right sexy figuration in Miranda's song, to the impressionistic whole-tone writing for strings and harp, it was a strong and colorful performance. Three cheers!"

THE ADVOCATE (CT)

"Diane Wittry, the versatile music director, conducted with energy and flair, and charmingly added information about the pieces."

THE MORNING CALL (PA)

"Wittry balanced the musical strands perfectly - and the orchestral playing was magical."

THE MORNING CALL ( PA)

"The complex rhythmic development of the first movement (Tchaikovsky Symphony #4) was projected very carefully by Diane Wittry. The distinct advantage to her inwardly flamboyant conducting is that you find that your attention has shifted to the players, and that they sound great. The audience rightly burst out in applause after the first movement - not that thin clap with quick and apologetic side-glances of the uninitiated - but the real thing. Impact like this is not an accident."

THE ADVOCATE ( CT)

"Conductor Diane M. Wittry has a firm command of her assembled musicians, carefully shaping the ensemble's sound by clear gestures and evoking a generally precise response."

EXPRESS TIMES (NJ)

"Wittry should be commended for putting such a difficult piece on the program. She led the Allentown Symphony through the composition with confidence and flair, demanding exactness and, at the same time, allowing the players enough freedom to "fly" with this inspiring symphony. The future of the group under Wittry's leadership, including her careful but daring programming is rather bright"

THE MORNING CALL ( PA)

"After the intermission we were treated to what is without a doubt one of the 20th century's greatest symphonies, Prokofiev's Fifth. The symphony played the optimistic work with flowing energy, great balance and rhythmic alertness and demonstrated capacity for fully bringing out the work's many colors. Wittry achieved wonderful control over the large ensemble."

THE MORNING CALL (PA)

"The orchestra, under the direction of Diane Wittry, was excellent in both the Beethoven and the dozen excerpts from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," which were played while Lia Cirio and James Whiteside of the Boston Ballet danced as the Swan Queen and Prince and members of the Lehigh Valley's Repertory Dance Theatre performed supporting roles."

THE MORNING CALL (PA)

"Diane Wittry gave the orchestra no doubt about her intent. She brought in the different instruments with flowing left-hand movements, cued the timpani with body signals and constantly moved her baton hand with strength and expertise. She swayed with the evening's unusual combinations of rhythms…. Wittry closed the program with Dvorak's Symphony No. 6, a difficult and stunning way to show her control and to win responses from every division."

THE BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE (TX)

"The Mahler symphony was a testament to Wittry and her accomplishments with the Symphony of Southeast Texas. It was marvelous!... No hesitation could be heard in either the individual musicians or in Wittry, who boldly conducted the orchestra to new heights. The Mahler symphony is a monumental work and the Symphony of Southeast Texas met that challenge."

THE BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE (TX)

"The second half included the large-scale Second Symphony by Sergei Rachmaninoff... .Maestra Diane Wittry manged to hold the attention of her musicians and transmit the inner truth of the romantic composition. It was an interesting and fresh performance of a symphonic work that could drag in the hands of a lesser conductor. The ASO strings, have never sounded better.

THE MORNING CALL ( PA)

"The concert opened with a well-balanced rendition of Beethoven's truly unique sixth Symphony, the "Pastoral." The orchestra captured fully the changing moods. I particularly like the relaxed manner in which conductor Diane Wittry approached this work."

THE MORNING CALL ( PA)

 
 
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