Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice, 25th June 2019

“The concert at the Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego (a beautifully restored and acoustically bright former movie palace) began with Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, K. 504 (Prague) with it’s rich, dramatic phrasing and orchestration that would inspire a young Beethoven, followed by the Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466 with an energized Conrad Tao as soloist, complete with Beethoven’s impassioned cadenzas. It led to the festival’s finale, a performance of Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, No. 6, Op. 68 that combined birdsong, lyricism, and panoramic grandeur with a torrential downpour and a drunken romp of a peasant party.”