Sharing a stage with a YouTube sensation might be intimidating. But if Joshua Weilerstein was nervous, he didn’t show it when he guest-conducted the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in late October.
According to the Washington Post, the bill featured works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and a 2013 work by Christopher Rouse, former BSO composer-in-residence. Robert Battey called Weilerstein, “a thinking musician, constantly seeking the most effective means of realizing the music.”
The critique also noted Weilerstein’s physicality, ranging from stoic to animated dancing, and said, “with this level of talent, I predict nothing but success going forward.”
Pianist Valentina Lisitsa was the other star of the concert, thanks in part to her YouTube following.
Coming off a three-year appointment as the associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, 27-year-old Weilerstein’s spent much of his time in Europe, including an appointment as artistic director of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Baltimore Sun’s review echoed the Post’s calculated assessment, saying, “Weilerstein demonstrated a firm grasp of structure and rhythm throughout the symphony, ensuring a cohesive, absorbing performance.”
Both reviews commented on Weilerstein’s youthful appearance, but were quick to praise his accomplishments and prospects as he builds his career.