Talmi satisfying in premiere as PSG conductor
The Pittsburgh Tribune January 20, 1996
Todd Gutnick

It's unfortunate former Pittsburgh Symphony music director -Andre Previn isn't on the rostrum this weekend at Heinz Hall. Previn should have his chance for bows during the PSO's centennial season. So you can't help wondering how Perevin's interpretation of, say, 'Shostakovich's imposing Fifth Symphony would have played out, or how Previn would have approached Ravel's tinctured "Ma mere l'oye" - works he obviously chose for his return. His absence due to illness made for the only disappointment of Friday night's concert. But Israeli-born conductor Yoav Talmi, the San Diego Symphony's talented music director, who made his PSO premiere last night, proved a replacement just as satisfying.
Before an audience of 1,850, Talmi led the PSO through some unusually charismatic and brisk music-making. His orchestral inflections, conducting style and nuances at once brought to mind the vagaries of PSO Music Director Lorin Maazel.
…In his distinct, swaggering style, Talmi led the orchestra through the bombast of Shostakovich with even-handedness - he allowed for just enough coloring in the moments of infectious delirium as in the development of the "Largo," where Shostakovich divides the violins into three sections; violas and cellos into two. The strings responded with varied shades of color, as a flower blooms suddenly.