2001 RNO-Grove Street Winery Concert Series
The Riverside Press-Enterprise
From the first lift of the conductor's baton, the orchestra transformed notes on paper into absolute magic... And the audience loved it, greeting it with not one, not two, but five spontaneous standing ovations. [Ponti directed] without score and without affectation, attending to every detail and nuance of Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade while eliciting grand, full sounds from the orchestra. His direction enhances the orchestras music without distracting. [The RNO] played with the refinement of the finest crystal, with a subtlety and elegance that lifted the music-craving heart. The strings performed with the sound of one rich instrument and the solo instruments sparkled with perfection...With head-shaking awe, the listeners watched and listened and smiled to orchestral music at its finest.
The concert was conducted by Carlo Ponti, Jr., who is one of the exceptional young conductors presently emerging on the international scene... He [displayed] a facile grace, a keen sense of timing, a marvelous use of orchestral color and a sublime restraint that made the program sing and soar... Hes the real thing, a remarkably fine young conductor who could become one of symphonic conductings superstars in the not too distant future.
Carlo Ponti Jr. led the musicians with an obvious sense of interpretive design. His approach was traditional but with some novel dynamic touches. The Capriccio Espagnol proved the highlight of both his musical concepts and the orchestras proficiency.
The Sacramento Bee
The effectiveness of [Carlo Ponti's] conducting...was a reminder of the wonders of music-making.