San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2016
Rokeach’s concerto was the centerpiece of Friday’s concert by the Oakland Symphony under Music Director Michael Morgan at the Paramount Theatre. It featured a dazzling solo turn by Amy Likar, who sounded entirely in sympathy with the work’s fundamental premises.
In particular, Likar was clearly intent on bringing out the more expressive vein in Rokeach’s writing, and outlining a dramatic relationship between soloist and orchestra that was not quite antagonistic — in the manner of traditional Classical and Romantic concertos — and yet not quite collaborative either.
And in the long-breathed melodies of the slow movement, which Likar delivered with winning tonal beauty and eloquence, you can hear a new kind of character being forged for the piccolo. It’s the kind of thing that instrumentalists all over might undertake.