Sunday, October 2, 2011 10:58 PM EDT

By Liz Newberg
Staff Writer – New Britain Herald
With shouts of “bravo” and a standing ovation, the New Britain Symphony made quite a comeback after nearly having to close its doors for good last year.
In collaboration with The Connecticut Virtuosi Orchestra, their inaugural concert Sunday brought Welte Hall to life with sounds from Shore to Sibelius.
Special guest violin soloist Brunilda Myftaraj entranced the audience as she played Alexander Glazunov’s violin concerto and Witold Lutoslawski’s “Little Suite.” The Albanian violin prodigy came back on stage for an encore, with a playful rendition “Happy Birthday” in a salute to the newly established partnership and their first concert together.
The concert attracted patrons not just from New Britain and Bristol but from as far afield as Orange and Chester. Newington resident Marjorie Johnson said she was thrilled that the symphony was still operating and the convenience of not having to drive into Hartford made it even better.
As the sounds of Howard Shore’s “Lord of the Rings” rose in a magnificent crescendo, Nicole Granados and her children Salem and Crichton of Bristol listened in amazement.
“This is their first symphony and to have it right here and kids are free makes it an easy thing to do as a family,” Granados said. “They really are quite good. It’s the best kept secret in New Britain.”
New Britain mayoral candidate Lucian Pawlak couldn’t have agreed more. In the audience to lend his support, he said the symphony is a testament to the city’s diversity.
“This is one of the foundations that underpin how New Britain stands out,” Pawlak said. “We can go from baseball to the symphony to a world-class art museum. To have all this in a small city like New Britain is something to be proud of.”

Patriot wrote on Oct 3, 2011 8:26 AM:
” The music was absolutely awesome. Congratulations to Nancy Judd and all of those responsible for the merger of these two orchestras. It was a powerful performance that brought tears to my eyes. Bravo! “

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