Virtuosic, Electrifying, Happy/Czech Duo Enjoyed a Long Standing Ovation, Rightfully!
March 6, 2020
A concert in mid-week is a daring thing to suggest! But we believed there are many who like to celebrate ordinary week day with extraordinary musical moments. And we prevailed!
Mother and son who have each their own successful musical career get together several times a year to perform music, at home and abroad. She, Zuzana
Ambrošová, plays piano and he, her son Miroslav Ambroš, plays violin. They are both Czech, both went to conservatory and prestigious Academy of Music, both have achieved a great success in the classical music world.
When Zuzana became a mother, she decided to leave her solo career and rather teach at Conservatory and play chamber music in order to have time for her family. (She was enormously talented child, entering conservatory to study piano at 13, singing in chorus performing weekly on television, hosting e.g. with Viennese Philharmonics, etc.)
When her son Miroslav was ten years old and went to see a concert performed by prestigious competition winners, he told his mom he wants to be a solo violinist. She was not thrilled! She started talking him out of it as she knew already that to become a solo performer is a life full of beauty, but also full of sacrifice and a life "upside down". Miroslav insisted and decided (with no previous training) that in two years it will be he, who will win that competition. And he did!! He achieved it by playing for two years 9-10 hours a day, happily and with passion, he said. He was noticed by one of the most celebrated Czech violinists Josef Suk who took him under his wing, Miroslav then also studied with accomplished Ivan Ženatý and many other significant pedagogues.
When I heard the story of success I asked how difficult it is to still keep a talented child "a child". Zuzana told me she believes that not every child dream is running with friends, climbing trees, having play days or play soccer. She herself loved, she said , absolutely loved her childhood that was filled with singing in prestigious choir and long practices at the piano. Her son feels the same.
Just before Miroslav and Zuzana came to this US tour, Miroslav won a Gold medal in Vienna, in a competition for professional violinists. We are excited that he came to celebrated such a success with us!
And the concert starts and wow and wow! Musicality, virtuosity, musical charisma, technical bravado, beautiful clean tone, boldness at its best. The hall is filled with soaring tunes of Handel and Joachim, with raw melodies of excellent deliberate Ravel's Tzigane and Bodorova gypsy balad, with whimsicality that seeped through a beautifully arranged Vivaldi's Winter...Dvorak Sonatina in G major touched my heart not only because Dvorak is my compatriot, but one feels so much in this piece, admiration for American beauty, homesickness for Bohemia, his love for his children and pride they are great musicians, for whom he wrote this piece, love for Longfellow that inspired his symphony number Nine, also this piece. By employing pentatonic scales, syncopated rhythm of "Americana" — it was Dvorak's last piece written in his American stay — he also pay homage to the roots of American classical music, old spirituals and Indian music.
Dramatic rapid technical challenging energetic Antonio Bazzini took us all aback by the paramount electrifying virtuosity of Miroslav and solid well crafted support of Zuzana's accompanying piano. It went right into your soul and you did nt want the music to ever stop! Loud and cheerful standing ovation followed and continued after the encore. And that is how I like it, and that is how it was.
Since the dawn of civilization music is our closest companion: we sing our children to sleep, we sing at their birthday, we play music at graduation, we walk down the aisle to music, we sing when we are sad, we sing when we are happy...to listen to music together with others makes us become one. It is a beautiful feeling to be moved, to be cheered up, to be uplifted with music along with others around us who feel, for a minute, the same. It creates a magic of humane closeness that I enjoy and seek. And I know I am not the only one.
Thank you, Zuzana and Miroslav, for an extraordinary Wednesday that would be just a plain day if it was not for you! You hung lots of beautiful musical ornaments around our soul and it made us go home almost in a dancing step. And your wonderful rapport as a mother and son in a professional musical duet was beautiful to watch on and off the stage. We cannot wait for an encore next year. With love, your San Diego audience!!