In his first performance with the Hays Symphony Orchestra, director Shah Sadikov brought to life the inspiring sounds of three beloved German composers. Featuring works by Beethoven, Bruch and Brahms, Saturday evening’s program at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center quickly reminded me what I had missed most this summer: FHSU music.

Shadikov, recently appointed assistant professor of upper strings at FHSU, has performed recitals in Germany, Uzbekistan and recently debuted at Carnegie Hall.

“If you don’t know me, here I am,” Sadikov introduced himself to his new fans Saturday evening.

Watching Sadikov conduct with artistry and seeing him interact with symphony members made it apparent Hays will be glad to know its new HSO director.

Violin soloist Laura Hammes Black was mezmerizing in her performance of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor. She brought a depth of emotion to the complex work that truly enhanced the drama of each of the three concerto movements.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture” was simply gorgeous. When Beethoven is performed well, it is particularly satisfying to me, as I had musical delusions as a child that the spirit of Beethoven could hear me fumble my way through his piano sonatas. It eases my mind that his spirit can rest in peace, knowing his work has been performed as it should be.

The second half of the program was devoted to Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2 in D Major.” The symphony, with its sweeping orchestration, paints a lush melodic picture. The Hays symphony was dexterous, working in serious weighty tones in the adagio non-troppo movement, then rhythmically vehement in the final allegro con-spirito movement.

As we start what promises to be a diverse and engaging concert season at FHSU, one quick reminder to all concert-goers: Take a break from your cellphones during concerts. If you have business that is pressing, attend to it outside the performing arts center. Otherwise, leave the device behind and enjoy the singular chance to enjoy music as it is being performed in the moment. Respect your fellow concert-goers and the hardworking musicians who have made the performance possible.

This week: The Encore Series opening performance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. Later in the week, two of FHSU’s talented music faculty will perform: Brad Dawson, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Beach/Schmidt; and Lane Weaver, 7:30 Friday at Palmer Hall.

Dawne Leiker is a frequent contributor to The Hays

Daily News.