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Palm Beach Symphony superb in Haydn, Stravinsky and Mendelssohn program; solos exquisite

By Ken Keaton (Palm Beach Daily News - March 18, 2011)

The minuet [of Haydn's Symphony No. 6, Le matin] had invention and character, and flutist Katrina Walter’s exquisite solo work was memorable. The finale celebrated the concertante, and every section of the orchestra was heard from. It was a delightful performance.  [...]  The slow movement [of Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony] had an unsettled quality to it, a need for the consolation and affirmation that the final movement, based on Luther’s chorale Ein feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress is Our God), would provide. That finale comes without pause, and flutist Walter’s statement of the chorale melody brought tears to the eyes. 

 


New World’s preseason concert offers genre-crossing premiere

By David Fleshler (South Florida Classical Review - September 26, 2010)

In the Leonore Overture, wind and brass playing was accurate throughout, and flutist Katrina Walter played the main theme with lively, effortless grace.



New World opens Debussy Festival with austere chamber works

By David Fleshler (South Florida Classical Review - April 26, 2010)

Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp received a performance most notable for the rounded, technically effortless playing of Katrina Walter.



Brisk Ebullience

By Lawrence Budmen (Music & Vision - October 11, 2009)

Frübeck de Burgos molded the Suite from The Firebird (1919 version) with eloquence and finesse. From the ruminative opening to the explosive firepower of Kashchei’s Infernal Danceand the lush strings of the Lullaby, this Firebird was propelled with balletic momentum and drama. The flute solos by Katrina Walter, a member of the Miami-based New World Symphony, were breathtakingly accurate, pure in tone and aristocratically shaped.  Here was a Firebird that any professional orchestra would be proud of and many could not surpass!



Haydn in plain sight

By Lawrence A. Johnson (South Florida Classical Review - March 02, 2009)

... Haydn’s  essence was displayed in the opening Trio in D major, Hob. XV:16.  The New World musicians—flutist Katrina Walter, cellist Susan Yun and pianist Elaine Hou—provided a virtual seminar in proper Haydn style: refined, gracious, and impeccably balanced with decorous taste in the Andantino and crackling drive in the finale without ever sacrificing an essential elegance. ...

 

 

A Variant Mixture

By Heuwell Tircuit (San Francisco Classical Voice - November 11, 2005)

Despite its French-colored sonic patina, Schwantner's Canticle often sounded like a homage to Mahler. It opens, for instance, with ultra-loud thuds on a muted bass drum, like the opening of the finale to Mahler's Tenth Symphony. But the solo flute lines lean on Messiaen, while the chamber ensemble writing offered many hints of Henri Dutilleux' mature compositions. Schwantner, on the other hand, has always had an interest in odd effects. So during the progress of the piece, the bass players have an episode to play on antique cymbals; three of the strings bow vibraphone bars; there are tuned wine glasses to be rubbed into vibration; etc. Those effects were subtly handled, so that they were never disruptive.

Yet the lasting impression lay in the virtuosity, musicality, and beauty of sound produced by flutist Katrina Walter. She gave a stylish, first rate performance, from any viewpoint, while the ensemble were a tad ragged and rough-edged much of the time under conductor Nicole Paiement. But for some reason, Walter's name failed to appear on the program listing. Surely, soloists deserve better, especially when they are this good. 

 

 

Variegations

By Michelle Dulak Thomson (San Francisco Classical Voice - March 13, 2005)

...And now for something completely different

Next came the flute-and-piano Sonatine from 1943, which sounded just like a Paris Conservatoire test piece — and, whaddaya know, it was one. It's very attractive music in that vein — roughly early Milhaud in a good mood — and the genial way flutist Katrina Walter and pianist Leesa Dahl (the latter is on the SFCM faculty) had with the first movement was such that it took awhile to realize that nearly the whole thing is in 7. Making odd meters seem natural is terribly difficult, at least for classically-trained musicians (for people steeped in, say, Bulgarian folk music, another story), and Walter and Dahl were brilliant here. As they were throughout a piece that was designed to require brilliance. ...

 

 

Broad Spectrum

By Jonathan Russell  (San Francisco Classical Voice - November 6, 2004)

... The Conservatory's New Music Ensemble under the direction of Nicole Paiement performed the Concerto [for Violin and Wind Instruments, by Kurt Weill] with great precision, clarity, and energy. Clarinetists Ryan Ibbetson and Jeffrey Anderle set the tone with a beautiful opening duet, and Katrina Walter’s lovely crystalline flute solo in the second movement was also noteworthy. ...

 

 

NWS concert with Yefim Bronfman

(Florida Sun-Sentinel - April 16, 2008)

Tilson Thomas provided a rich orchestral context for Bronfman's tour de force. Mellifluous horn and flute solos [played by Robert Rearden and Katrina Walter] commanded attention.

 

 

MTT makes rare appearance as pianist in substantially Scandinavian program

By David Fleshler (South Florida Classical Review - January 9, 2010)

Tilson Thomas returned to the podium for a performance of Sibelius Symphony No. 3, giving a rustic and vigorous performance of the Finnish composer’s least-often played work in the genre. The last movement didn’t build to as much of a climax as in other performances. But in the first and second movements, the orchestra’s wind section showed itself to be a real center of excellence. The New World turns over about a third of its members every year, as the musicians complete their three-year fellowships and move on to jobs in the outside world, and the winds this year play with real beauty and richness of tone, and a technical ease that allowed the focus to be on bringing out the music.