Youthful enthusiasm, the exceptionally bright acoustics of Royce Hall, UCLA, and a new and commanding conductor made the latest Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra concert an engaging affair, Sunday afternoon.
Joining the YMF ensemble on this occasion was the chamber orchestra from Crossroads School in Santa Monica; leading the combined group, Heiichiro Ohyama again distinguished himself as a conductor of clear promise.
In a generous program consisting of Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture, the Sinfonia Concertante for cello of Prokofiev and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8, Ohyama seemed to encourage his young charges into raucousness. When the 71-player ensemble restrained itself, genuine warmth, true intonation and musical articulation resulted. This happened in the relatively quiet third movement of Dvorak's G-major Symphony, and it was cherishable.
Otherwise, Ohyama's intense approach brought excitement but little contrast to these scores. The performance began at too high an emotional pitch with the "Egmont" Overture, then peaked early in the longueurs of the Prokofiev work.