No conductors need apply
Young and leaderless, A Far Cry is a small string orchestra with big ideas
An hour before a recent concert by the upstart string orchestra A Far Cry, violinist Sharon Cohen stood backstage gazing at the metal box that controlled the stage lights. The issue: The pianist was being blinded by a beam while the violins were in the dark. Cohen started to fiddle with a lever. Violist Frank Shaw hovered nearby. "If you do touch anything," he cautioned, "touch it slowly."
Watching the scene unfold at Phillips Academy's Cochran Chapel in Andover, it might be hard to believe that Shaw and Cohen are members of one of Boston's most promising classical music groups. Until, that is, you took in a performance of A Far Cry.
In just a year, this proudly unconducted string orchestra of a dozen-plus musicians has created a buzz that's stretched from Symphony Hall to New York City. The Boston Symphony Orchestra recently snapped up a cellist from A Far Cry. And next week, when the group embarks on a series of concerts in Quincy, Cambridge, and Brook line, a scout from a major New York management agency will be in the house, watching.