Since 1979, the Gold Medal series at Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena, has brought to local attention a fair number of emerging solo artists. And, as demonstrated Monday evening, there is no dearth of young talent.
Violinist Sherry Kloss, a Juilliard graduate, has won a number of awards. Like her demeanor, her playing was poised and refined, her sound pure, limpid and elegant. Alas, she didn't permit much excitement to enter the music. While she proved adept at negotiating nearly all of the technical difficulties, one sensed little spontaneity. Her volume, moreover, usually remained between pianissimo and mezzo-forte.
In Richard Strauss' Sonata, Opus 18, and in Beethoven's Sonata, Opus 30, No.2, Kloss rendered the shadings and nuances tastefully and subtly. So subtly, in fact, that pianist Brooks Smith occasionally covered her playing.
The electronic soundscape of Henk Badings' "Capriccio" provided an interesting rhythmic and textural backdrop for the doleful, tortuous violin line. Kloss rendered her obviously difficult part with precision, conviction and understanding.
The two musicians gave a charming account of Cyril Scott's "Tallahassee" Suite; miniatures by Jeno Hubay, Dvorak and Rossini, followed by a Strauss encore, rounded out the program.