Its formal name is the Cary Cross Currents Chamber Music Arts Festival, a partnership between the Town of Cary and the Brussels Chamber Orchestra. This widely renowned group of musicians from Belgium “is delighted to once again bring its Europe-based projects to Cary.” Among the more worthy projects of this July 5-17 Festival is the Side-by-Side program, wherein thirteen young string players can “sit beside and be coached by (these thirteen BCO) professional musicians for a full week, then perform with them.”

As for the concert at hand, the Brussels players collaborated with six members of the North Carolina Symphony to cool a steamy Sunday afternoon for the goodly audience at the magnificent (brand new renovation from circa 1900!) Cary Arts Center. The facility had been christened on the previous Friday evening with a Side-by-Side concert, so this present program constituted the first “all-pro” offering.

The unaided BCO opened with a flawless reading of Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10 in B minor, the “newest” of the afternoon’s vintage selections. The first of the celebrated guests and section leaders from the NC Symphony, violinist Dovid Friedlander and oboist Melanie Wilsden, joined the strings for Bach’s Concerto in C minor for violin and oboe, S.1060. The two fast movements were as pure baroque as you’re likely to hear. The Adagio carried the listener a hundred years ahead with its romantic strains. The soloists alternated between performing a duet and engaging in a duel, all the while delivering the very best of Bach.

Four NC Symphony wind players augmented the BCO for the Haydn Symphony No. 49 and the Mozart Symphony No. 29. Rachel Niketopoulis and Christopher Caudill furnished the horns and Sandra Posch and Carrie Schull, the oboes. These fine complementary players added pleasing balance and “body” to the works. Especially effective were the horns in the Allegro and the oboes in the Trio of the Haydn. Much as if they had been members of a permanent ensemble rather than ad hoc, the winds and strings collaborated for integrated sound in both works.

Carrie Knowles, U.S. Director, and Neil Leiter, European organizer, seem to have tried to cover all bases in ensuring such a lofty artistic attainment for this Festival. For example, early arrivals are treated to “Home Sweet Cary,” an entertaining video presentation of Cary Visual Art that “investigates and reveals the hidden demographic of Cary” by looks inside Cary homes. (Note to Leiter: Address the audience more succinctly when delivering your always-valuable commentary.) Has a more worthwhile enterprise for advancing the finer arts ever been mounted in the Triangle area?

This Festival continues through July 17 with many more opportunities for the attendee. See our calendar for information.