Peter Lenz, left, playing cello, and Steinway artist Mark Leonard Anderson, bewitched the Susanville Symphony Orchestra’s audience with their world-class musicianship Sunday, March 18. Photos by Sam Williams

Symphony showcases world-class musicianship

The Susanville Symphony Orchestra and its guest performers — Steinway Artist Mark Leonard Anderson and the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal cellist Peter Lenz — put on a concert for the ages recently at the Assembly of God Church.

Anderson lovingly tickled the ivories at the appropriate moments, but when the time came for a little more drama, he attacked those same keys with a deliberate finesse and ferocity that most likely will not be seen here in Susanville until another master musician of his talent comes to town.

Ben Wade, the Susanville Symphony Orchestra’s artistic director and conductor, leads the orchestra delicately through a quiet portion of Piano Concerto No. 5, “The Emperor,” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

And Lenz, front and slightly-off-center on the cello, offered a jaw-dropping performance of his own full of warbling trills and grace notes as he ably pushed his left hand far up into the treble clef (cello parts are usually written in the bass clef) and the very highest register of the instrument.

In the first half, Anderson, Lenz and the orchestra performed “Memoirs of Geisha” by John Williams, “Song Without Words” by Gustav Holst and “The Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana. After intermission, they performed Piano Concerto No. 5, “The Emperor,” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Ben Wade, the symphony’s artistic director and conductor, called the performances “awesome,” but he said the best part was that everyone in the audience had such a great time.

The symphony returns with its Pops Concert May 19 and 21.