Since there’s never any guarantee about live performances, I can never be sure that performances that I include in my previews turn out to be as good as they seem on paper. This year some of the musical events I encouraged people to attend turned out to be as at least good as I predicted. Several of them turned out to be among the year’s most memorable events. And, as always, there were some very happy surprises!
Benjamin Zander’s final concert of the year showed his Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in outstanding form, playing passionate and thoughtful versions of Verdi’s Overture to “La Forza del Destino,” Mendelssohn’s famous violin concerto (with Stefan Jackiw proving that a familiar work doesn’t have to be a cliché), and a riveting Mahler Symphony No. 1, showing that in the right hands even a group of talented kids can give us the best Mahler of the year.