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IU Symphony Orchestra concert in the Musical Arts Center, Bloomington, USA, March 2011
Fagen’s way with “Finlandia,” Sibelius’ anthem of Finnish independence, was rousing. The Symphony Orchestra sounded sumptuous and also whip-crackingly united. Liszt’s most popular symphonic poem, “Les Preludes,” a musical meditation built on the poetic outpourings of France’s first Romantic poet, Alphonse de Lamartine, was meant, in turn, to emulate springtime and love, the “storms of life,” a peaceful idyll and the celebration of “strife and victory.” The music does, and Wednesday’s performance, revved by Maestro Fagen, honored composer intent with its fervor, periodic tenderness and dramatic sweep.

Peter Jacobi, Heraldtimesonline.com, March 4, 2011
Sergej Prokofiev, Symphony n. 5, USA
The Philharmonic completed an impressive autumn on Tuesday evening with a resplendent reading of Prokofiev’s Symphony Number 5, adding that highvoltage score to a list of triumphs in symphonic works that test the mettle of even the best of ensembles. Maestro Fagen was back on the podium for the Prokofiev ... he’s a solid technician who has interesting interpretive ideas about the music he chooses. Fagen had the hard-working Philharmonic playing with a level of assurance that makes an audience comfortable and an intensity that made the music sizzle. Individual solos sounded impeccable. In ensemble, the orchestra, 100 strong, played as a united one.

Peter Jacobi, HeraldTimesOnline.com, December 9, 2010

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