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December 26, 2013 Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125



"New York Concert Review" (January 3, 2014)  Jeffrey Williams


"the playing overall was polished and the ensemble remarkably unified, as if they had been together for a long period of was a highly satisfying performance. " 


"Maestro Hirai was especially impressive. Conducting from memory, he demonstrated his deep knowledge of the score with unflagging energy and intense concentration. He was dynamic, confident, and completely engaged for the entire 75 minutes. It was especially interesting to me that he “sang” along with the chorus with evident joy on his face. It was among the best of the live performances I have heard of this work and justly deserving of the standing ovation it was accorded. Bravo to all! "




"New York Culture Examiner" (January 8, 2014)  Mila Hover


"With the highly expressive and lively presence of the orchestra, and especially its conductor, Maestro Hirai, the concert quickly reached and maintained a high energy level."


"The end of this concert part was followed with a very long and emotional reaction on the part of the audience. Much of it was directed to Maestro Hirai for his masterful interpretation and intimate knowledge of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which he conducted from memory."


"Maestro Hirai made a remarkable Carnegie Hall debut in front of an audience of about 3,000 people who recognized his outstanding job with the New York Festival Orchestra."


"both the conductor and orchestra did a very fine, polished, and full of energy performance not to be missed!!" 


"Mr. Kalin Ivanov, principal cellist and manager of the New York Festival Orchestra, did a great job leading the cello section!"



<Robertaonthearts> (January10, 2014)  Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower,Publisher 


"The musicians and chorus had been assembled just for this special event, and it was incredible how this orchestra was so tightly timed and in visual communication with Maestro Hirai."


"The cellos were especially scintillating in this final movement."


"The audience made their enthusiasm heard throughout the evening. As the Beethoven Ninth came to a torrential conclusion, the Hall erupted in equally torrential accolades."


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