"The chemistry between music and music makers is not an altogether fathomable one, but it does not take long nor even a trained ear to perceive when this chemistry works. And most definitely it worked Friday night at the Masonic Auditorium where the Toledo Symphony Orchestra came fully alive under the baton of guest conductor Yuval Zaliouk.
"To be sure, while it was mighty cold outside the music of Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms can always be counted on to deliver both warmth and even heat — if their music is realized artistically rather than mechanically. In the past few years, too many concerts have suffered from just such a mechanical reproduction of notes.
"But Friday night the orchestra returned to making music. Thus was revealed the potential of the orchestra reawakened — after all it contains some superb musicians — but also what a knowing and most musical conductor — I am tempted to simply say, the right conductor — can do and in very short order. I have no idea how it is done, except to report that the orchestra never sounded better, more confident, more mature, more balanced in some three years.
"...A true conductor shows his mettle best when called on to accompany such a reading. Not only did Mr. Zaliouk offer a beautifully balanced accompaniment, but he kept the music's transparency without ever letting the orchestral playing lose substance. It called for flexibility and a high degree of empathy. The result was a superb collaboration.
"...The important thing is that he has immense and telling experience already, including working with Otto Klemperer. He knows how to make music, there is little doubt about that, and he does it with a rare elan, enthusiasm, conviction, and style. ..."
by Boris Nelson, The Toledo Blade (Toledo, Ohio USA)