Elim Chan made her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra as a short noticed replacement for Krzysztof Urbański. And she did it very well with a not at all easy programme.

Opening a concert with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet overture is always tricky. Not only it demands a clear control of all the orchestral layers to expose each one more in different moments but also it is easy to fall in the lousy spectacular gig without keeping of all the organic growing that Tchaikovsky put on it. Chan kept a perfect control the orchestra sonorities exposing clearly all the themes and keeping all the tensions so everything sounded like a normal resolution of the previous facts. Bravo.

Having Simon Trpčeski to play Tchaikovsky 1st piano concerto was a luxury. He is this kind of enormous musician not so present on the as other colleagues because he focuses only on the music. He couldn’t hide moving his body along the orchestra playing, because he was not ashamed of it, he was feeling the music. This is not the most technically demanding concerto in the repertoire but requires a lot of synchronization between piano and orchestra. And Chan and Trpčeski did it wonderfully, not only with the beating but also pledging dynamics to match each other. Delicious. As delicious was the encore given by Trpčeski and two principals of the orchestra in the form of piano trio.

The second half of the concert was a selection of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Again we listened to a perfectly conducted orchestra (strings were spectacular this time) without any extravagance.