Violinist Augustin Hadelich is the featured soloist as the Florida Orchestra winds up its season with a pair of concerts this weekend. He'll be playing the Brahms Violin Concerto with guest conductor Larry Rachleff on the podium.
Hadelich, 27, has been on the musical fast track lately, at one point playing seven different concertos in three months. A child prodigy in his native Italy (his parents are German), he had to overcome serious burn injuries he received at 15 in a fire at his family's vineyard. A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, where he now lives, the violinist has several CDs to his credit, including Haydn's three violin concertos for the Naxos label.
Echoes of Paris (Avie), a recital of violin-piano pieces by Poulenc, Stravinsky and other 20th century composers who worked in the French capital, was released this year by Hadelich and pianist Robert Kulek. "These are exceptionally compelling performances, sharply defined in character, immaculately articulated, rich in interpretative acumen and blessed with extraordinary finesse," raved critic Geoffrey Norris in Gramophone.
Rachleff, music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, also includes the overture to the Berlioz opera Beatrice and Benedict, Barber's Adagio for Strings and Stravinsksy's Pulcinella suite on his program.
The concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at Ferguson Hall of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa, and 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg. $20-$67, with students tickets for $10. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic