Powerful music filled the air and the audience sat with awestruck expressions as the UF Symphony Orchestra performed Thursday night.
Under the baton of conductor Matthew Wardell, the UF Symphony Orchestra played for about 1,000 people at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the best-attended UF orchestra concert ever, Wardell said.
The first half of the concert showcased concerto competition winners Yefim Romanov and Anastasia Naplekova.
Romanov, the undergraduate winner, performed Tchaikovsky's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra and Naplekova followed on piano with Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Both pieces resulted in an encore and a standing ovation for the soloists.
In her nine years of working for UF, Mutlu Citim-Kepic said this was one of the best Symphony Orchestra concerts she has been to.
After intermission, the orchestra performed Béla Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin, accompanied by a ballet with the UF school of Theater and Dance.
The Mandarin tells a story of a girl forced to seduce men so her thugs could beat them and steal their money. In the end, the message that all beings deserve satisfaction was portrayed through the character of the Mandarin, who repeatedly defies death to gain the girl's acceptance.