It was a dark and stormy night …but not inside the Vienna Presbyterian Church when Pamela Daniels took to the stage, with a presence so luminescent that she could have put the stars to shame with her smile, and began to play.
Daniels, a graduate of South Lakes High School in Reston, also has a Bachelor's of Music from the Eastman School of Music and an Masters of Music from New England Conservatory, both in flute performance. She will be a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts this summer. Daniels, with her poise, grace, charm and talent, is well on her way to having an amazing career as a freelance flutist.
The first half of the evening, we were treated to Sonatine by Pierre Sancan, Sonata for Flute and Guitar by Jean Francaix, and Syrinx for Solo Flute by Claude Debussy. Daniels was accompanied by Anna Ouspenskaya, piano, and Robert Hanson, guitar. Ouspenskaya, an artist of acclaim who is pursuing a Doctorate at Catholic University, proved to be a brilliant, sophisticated and empathetic accompanist. She was in perfect synchronization with Daniels, creating a truly joyful noise. Hanson, a 2004 graduate of the Washington, D.C.'s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, seemed to struggle with the intricate Francaix piece but redeemed himself handsomely in the encore.
After intermission,Ouspenskaya and Daniels returned to delight us with Sonata in f minor by Johannes Brahms. It was an added pleasure to observe Daniels’ proud parents, Sue and Craig, as the hushed audience received the beautiful presentation from their progeny. The acoustics in the Church were terrific and the standing ovation was well deserved.
After the encore, the audience hurried off to a reception to meet Pamela Daniels knowing that in the not-too-distant future they would recall this evening and could say “I knew her when she appeared in Vienna, and look at her now.”