Mark Kosower, Principal Cello of the Cleveland Orchestra, was born and grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. On Saturday evening he was the soloist with the Phoenix Symphony for Antonin Dvorak’s Concerto in B minor for Violincello & Orchestra, Opus 104. Dvorak wrote this piece in 1894-95 while working in the United States. It is a reflective work in memory of his beloved sister-in-law Josefina. The cello resonated with the orchestra through a dialogue between the cello and the woodwinds. There is also an interesting duet with the principal violin.

The concert started with a modern work, John Corigliano’s Symphony No.1, written in 1988-89. This moving piece commemorates friends of the composer afflicted with AIDS. As such it reflects remembrance mixed with cries of helpless rage. Interestingly, an off-stage piano portrays sad resignation. A moving evening of music featuring one of my favorite instruments, the cello.