The second concert of the Concepción Symphony season was going to be the anticipated local debut of Helmuth Reichel, an award-winning Chilean conductor based in Germany. Due to force majeure, it became the unexpected debut of Pablo Carrasco Villablanca in the symphony season.

Current Resident Conductor with the Concepción Symphony Orchestra, Pablo Carrasco knows the ensemble very well from conducting it in numerous special, chamber, outreach and educational concerts. It’s no surprise, then, the positive result obtained in Rossini’s “Semiramide” Overture, and most notably, in Schumann’s Third Symphony. The rhythmical challenges in the first and fifth movements posed no problem under the always clear guidance of the Chilean conductor, who led a very expressive performance of this vitality-laden score. The brass were particularly shining, and the horn section reached moments of great majesty.

Another debutant in the official season was Vanessa Gatica, a 17-year violist from Concepción. She and percussionist Pablo Espinoza were the winners of the Concepción Symphony’s 8th Young Talents Music Competition. Just like in January at the competition’s final, Vanessa played the Fantasia for viola and orchestra by Guillermo Rojas, a double-bassist and composer from Santiago. The work has some beautiful melodies and attractive rhythms of folkloric inspiration. The young Vanessa Gatica’s technique is still under development, but the astonishing expressivity and quality of her sound already announce a brilliant soloist. Orchestra and conductor accompanied the young performer sympathetically in Rojas’ work, and then joined the numerous audience in the enthusiastic ovation to this great promise of local music.