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Reviews

Highlights from Live Performances

BSO opens season with exciting soloist
“Soloist Amy Porter erased any preconceptions about how a flute is supposed to sound when she performed Saturday at the Billings Symphony Orchestra’s season opener at the Alberta Bair Theater. There were gasps of air and haunting stabs coming from her flute, adding to the emotional wallop of the piece she played, ‘Trail of Tears’ by Michael Daugherty. The work evokes the fiery spirit of survival and strength of the Cherokee people, despite their tragic 800-mile journey in the 1800s when they were forced from their homeland through the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Porter rocked back and forth as she played the melody back and forth between the orchestra with such precise timing, it was as if she’d been performing in Billings for years. Porter and the Orchestra drew a much-earned sustained standing ovation at the end of the piece.”

Jaci Webb, Billings Gazette

“Amy Porter was the marvelous flute soloist in “Trail of Tears,” another colorful and evocative concerto from Michael Daugherty, the ASO’s composer in residence.  His title refers to the forced displacement of Cherokee families by the U.S. Army in 1938.  Sadness and anger could be read into the first two movements, which included some breathy sounds and sagging pitches in the flute.  But tragedy was never really at the forefront.  The focus remained on Porter’s beautiful tone color and Daugherty’s imaginative deployment of the orchestra, with a generous use of rattling and shaking percussion instruments.”

Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union

“Flutist Amy Porter gave a superb recital Saturday night at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center and showed that she ís not only very versatile but that she can do everything well. She chose a program that tested every aspect of her playing from a Baroque sensibility to using the instrument as a vehicle of sound effects, and she met each challenge with passion, skill and much musicality… Porter played with a big colorful sound, a very fleet, smooth technique, fabulously light double tonguing, effortless breath control and a forthright style of musicianship that was open, direct and had its own kind of exciting brio. Her pianist, Katie Leung, who was once a Porter flute student, provided exceptionally sympathetic support, matching nuances and excellent balances. The duo played with great energy and finesse and got a standing ovation.”

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-– Daily Gazette, Albany/Schenectady

“a particularly strong performer, technically robust and musically forceful.”
   – New York Times

“She has succeeded in avoiding all the overdone playing styles of the most famous flutists today…”
    – Houston Chronicle

“a charismatic performer, was focused, flexible and intensely in the moment. She tossed off fiendishly difficult passages as if they were child’s play and performed lyrical passages with heart-rending emotion.”
    – Omaha World Herald

“as played by the charismatic soloist Amy Porter, no instrument could conceivably sound more lively or richly expressive.”

Daily Journal, Mississippi

“Porter’s playing had a strong melodic profile and rhythmic vitality, propelling the breezy, sometimes sultry themes of the concerto along on a bright, rich band of tone.”
   – Houston Post

“Amy Porter deeply imbues her performance with a sense of narrative and of speech and, yes, drama.”
    – annarbor.com

“Porter is a genuine artist who imprints her vision on everything she plays. Her vision is one of lyricism based on a profound understanding of her instrument and the things it can express.”
    – Greenwich Times

“Simply put, it was one kick-ass performance. Sure, there are a lot of other ways to describe Amy Porter’s flute playing. If nothing else, it’s multi-dimensional. “
   – New Hampshire News

“Porter matched her fine controlled playing to a commanding, sensual stage presence. Her eyes and gestures clearly betray an emotional commitment to the music she plays.”
   – Wilmington News Journal (DE)