The Youth Symphony Orchestra of New York observed its fifth anniversary Saturday afternoon with the first concert of its season in Carnegie Hall and the performances were anything but wooden.
They had the life that is expected from young people. They also had a technical expertise that was almost frightening from instrumentatlists in the 12-to-21 age bracket.
Because of its age limitations, the ensemble has a heavy turnover in personnel every year. Also it has a new conductor, Richard Holmes, currently studying with Jean Morel at Juilliard. But neither factor impaired the enthusiasm or skill of the playing.
Mr. Holmes had his forces well in hand. He set some lively tempos for Dvorak's "Carnival Overture," but none that his players couldn't manage, and he was sensitive to the music's poetic aspects. Only the whiz-bang finale might have been more judiciously paced.
Arturo Delmoni was the soloist in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. The playing was brilliant, slightly flawed in pitch on occasion, but very rewarding because of the violinist's strong temperament. The program also inlcuded Ravel's "Pavane pour une Infante defunte" and Copland's "El Salon Mexico."
**Please note: This was the opening concert of the 6th Season, not 5th.