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Published: Thursday, 4/20/2006

Players call the shots for Mozart & More finale

BY STEVEN CORNELIUS
BLADE MUSIC CRITIC

Toledo Symphony instrumentalists take charge this weekend in the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center when the orchestra delivers the final program of the season's Mozart & More series. The musicians will perform without a conductor.

The event is the most public of a variety of symphony initiatives instituted to give players more active voices in decision-making. Much of this activity goes on behind the scenes in musician-led programming decisions and increased involvement in daily administrative duties.

Most visible to the public has been the orchestra's annual conductor-free chamber orchestra concert. For this event, musicians choose their music and rehearse as would a string quartet, that is, with every player having a voice in the many artistic choices that need to be made.

The process can be unwieldy, but has proved satisfying for the players. Almost invariably, the strategy has led to excellent music-making, a fact that audiences have noticed. Toledo Symphony's 7:30 p.m. Saturday program has been sold out for weeks.

The programming should prove engaging. The concert opens and closes with music of Mozart, his overture from the 1782 opera The Abduction from the Seraglio and "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" of 1787. Placed in between is a Vivaldi bassoon concerto featuring Joan Weiler, the orchestra's acting principal bassoonist. Rounding out the evening is Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 6, written when the prodigy was just 12 years old.

Patrons may call 419-246-8000 to check on last-minute ticket availability.

Contact Steven Cornelius at: scornelius@theblade.com



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