The Daily Gazette

The Daily Gazette
By Bill Rice

“Andre Watts gives concert of delight”

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Andre Watts gets my vote as the most exciting pianist on the planet. I mean, he’s the man.

That after hearing him perform Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday Night.

Elizabeth Hainen, the orchestra’s principal harpist, was the soloist in Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances. Watts was a tough act to follow, but Hainen held her own with a brilliant performance of the charming work.

Harpists usually make beautiful sounds in the back of an orchestra and it was good to have one front and center for a change, letting audience members see how gracefully it’s done.