Covelli & Kids
Multi-Media Concerts
Positions Held
Guest Conducting
Some Popular Concert Reviews
"Covelli proved to be an artist of the first rank. He walked on stage bearing his baton like a magician with a wand and brought some nearly 200 musicians to life! Covelli, a sound sculpture magician...reached out through every section of the orchestra with such command and such subtlety that he made his players, yielding under his spell, respond to every nuance."

- Buffalo


"It was a glowing evenng from beginning to end, perhaps the best of these concerts that the orchestra has ever put on... no small part of the evening's success had to do with the triple-threat activities of conductor John Covelli. Covelli showed himself to be aleader with much more thn ordinary flair. His beat - his whole style - is marked by thekind of variety that makes him as interesting to watch as his music-making is to listento.

Covelli is also personable. His comments, never too long, never too short, were always marked by flashes of wit. .....It was his performance of the famous Gershwin piece however, that really set Covelli apart. Conducting from the piano, he showed in his playing the same kind of incisive control that he had shown all evening on the podium.The same kind of crisp definition and clarity were there too. Add to this a reallyimprovisatory flexibility in those passages in which the piano was playing alone - a quality which emphasized the piece's jazz origins . Covelli made this all-too-familiar music sound fresh and full of the kind of spontaneous vitality that made it an instant success."

- Syracuse

"This New Year's Eve Gala brought enjoyable orchestral playing and a good bit of quick-witted commentary from Covelli....his snappy humor flavored the evening with a festive spirit."

- Houston

"New Year's Eve Concert Mixes Fun, Fine Music and Covelli's wit a la Victor Borge"

- Milwaukee

"Guest Conductor John Covelli led the orchestra through a program of superbly done favorites and it was a treat to hear them done with a measure of taste and the keen edge of musicianship."

- Alabama


" The Rhode Island Philharmonic picked the right man when it brought guest conductor John Covelli to open its 44th season. Covelli, presiding over an all-Gershwin program, turned out ot be a solid stickman, a bit of a standup comic, and a whale of a pianist.

.......Covelli, longtime Philharmonic fans will recall, was a leading contender for the conductor's job here 10 years ago....at the close of the performance Saturday listeners were overheard asking why on earth Covelli wasn't hired!"

- Providence

"Covelli may find he has created a tough act to follow."

- Flint


- Detroit


"Sparks flew on a cold night at the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. With a program of short works and movie music, it was a pops concert in the best sense of the term. It avoided the cliched and hackneyed in a program of both obscure and well-known compositions. Guest Conductor John Covelli dazzled on the podium. Animatedly exciting, he avoided flamboyant excess with his professional demeanor - directing with precision, not pretense. "

- Urbana

"With direction by John Covelli ...the orchestra has not sounded any finer all season.Covelli seems more connected to the ochestra than others who have taken the center spot. He is also unquestionably watchable as a performer, offering a sense of immediacy with the music and sense of dynamic. ...There is no doubt all will keep their eyes on him when he returns to the orchestra to both conduct and play."

- Glendale


As expected, the high point of the evening was the performanceof the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 with John Covelli performing as pianist and conductor.Covelli is an excellent pianist, particularly suited to this kind of music. His playing was crisp and light and and brought the music to life with remarkable wit and spirit. The piano led the way throughout the concerto and Covelli was able to bring the orchestra along with him to great effect. The pensive second movement was particularly beautiful. This segment's limpid melody ose effortlessly from the piano and brought out the best playing of the evening. The neat, dancing last movement was also brilliant.Covelli (leads) his orchestra delineating with drama and making sure the drama of works are brought out in an almost theatrical, colorful way. This approach favors the brilliance of the music he conducts, serving to produce excitement and a professional sense of design."

- Palm Beach


"John Covelli, the new maestro of the Greater Palm Beach Symphony, achieved something quite remarkable - an outstanding recreation of the New Year concerts of Vienna. This was a wonderful concert! Covelli showed he has the rare touch that can make Strauss waltzes work. Because of their great popularity and charm, it is often supposed that this is easy music to perform, but it is not. This is notoriously difficult music with the lilting rhythms of the Viennese waltz often becoming heavy and the swirling melodies becoming sentimentalized, even vulgar. The highlight of the evening was the orchestra's performance of the Emperor Waltzes, which was wonderful.Our area's major orchestra performed this same set only weeks ago with none of the elegance and sophistication of this playing. The orchestra has rarely sounded as good as this."

- Palm Beach

"...Put this music in the hands of the Florida Philharmonic and it would just sound bloated. But here it sounded transparent, lilting , even comic. Much of the credit belongs to Conductor John Covelli, who was careful to find the right balances and accentuate the airy textures in all four scores. His Ravel came off smart and sassy, not like the pea soup so many maestros make of it. His accompaniment of the Mozart was both rugged and gentle where it needed to be. but it was the cosmopolitan and colorful Ibert that rightly stole the show. A work that manages to mix delicious orchestral effects and parodies of other composers, it was served up by Covelli and company on a silver tray of engaging bedlam. Spike Jones would have loved it."

- Palm Beach

"Under the invigorating baton of guest conductor John Covelli, the Symphony performed a judicious balance of light classics and show tune medleys with panache and urbane conviction. It was indeed the same ensemble that plodded through a program the nihr before, so the heartening conclusion must be that the man on the podium makes the difference!"

- San Diego

"Leading the way was John Covelli, a debonair figure who was as smooth as he was authoritative, but what really distinguishes him was his manner. He has an understated dignity as well as a sense of humor."

- San Diego

"The return of John Covelli to lead the Virginia Symphony Pops offered the same excitement as when he fronted the orchestra last season. He still puts on a good show. Covelli and the Pops created sparks in a challenging program well-executed to make the evening an unqualified success."

- Virginia Beach


"I feel very secure about my headline because I attended Saturday nights concert when the Glendale Symphony sounded "as good as it really is." Recognizing that an orchestra is only as good as its conductor, no small measure of Saturday night's success goes to John Covelli who was not only conductor, but piano soloist.

Every piece on the program was done with finesse and expertise, but the crowning glory was Covelli's finale, Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Never have I seen or heard such perfect synchronization of musical thought and action. Covelli played and conducted in perfect timing, not disturbing his pianism or disrupting his conducting skills, but making them in an orderly sequence. There was beauty not only in his tone, but in the way he led the orchestra and then gently, almost tenderly, segued into his solo role. It was astounding and fascinating to watch and to hear. At the close of the piece there wasn't a moment's pause before the whole audience rose to its feet and orchestra members began to applaud and stomp their feet. This is the first time I've seen the orchestra so overcome with admiration...One orchestra member said later "Covelli is an honest musician....he handles an orchestra with respect and artistry, he leads with an up feeling - he is a superb conductor and artist."

- Glendale

"Guest conductor and pianist John Covelli brought a breath of fresh air Saturday Night with a sparkling concert. This was no run-of-the-mill program. Covelli's magnetism, his understated but exacting baton technique, and creative proramming set the Youngstown Synphony Orchestra on fire. They played with a spirit that matchedtheir virtuosity."

- Youngstown


..."Guest conductor-pianist John Covelli was sensational. Not only does this conductor electrify his orchestra--- his style, polish and easygoing manner, coupled with his rhythm dazzles his audience . Lively isn't adequate to describe this man's momentum....it is the mark of a conductor to make his orchestra perform at its best and program music for the enjoyment of everyone. Rarely is it that a conductor can come into town and in three days of reharsals have such an effect on an orchestra and an audience."

- Birmingham/Bloomfield

For further classical orchestral reviews in USA and Europe, click here. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader click the image below to get the reader)

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