In STEPHEN HOLDEN’sNew York Sunday Times(Nov 4, 2012) music review of the film,A Late Quartet, he states the credo of any musician worth being called a true musician: The film “has an important point to make about classical music. For the musicians who play it, especially intimate chamber worksin which the group members have to think, feel and breath as one, their instruments are vehicles for conveying strong emotion. Without passion, a performance, no matter how impeccable, is just a technical feat.”
Whether it is chamber music or a Mahler symphony, if there is no passion, no commitment, no personal understanding, no love, then there is no reason to be playing.
The presenters explored the significant emotional benefits of teaching music to adolescents with Autism. One particular case was assessed with a live clarinet performance. The instructors and students then reported on how the experience changed their lives.
Bye Bye Birdie closed last Sunday in Lexington, VA.. I not only conducted the show, but also played clarinet/saxophone in the pit. The performances took place in a 250 seat “black box” making the shows very intimate. We had six sellout crowds for each show. The leads, especially Albert, Mr Macafee, and Rose, stole the show. Because of budget constraints, the pit band contained 12 very talented musicians instead of a full orchestra that the score calls for. I enjoyed the challenge of conducting and playing at the same time; my first time! Though the show itself is somewhat dated, this did not bother the most appreciative audience watching our very enthusiastic and professional cast.
A great article by Harvey Sachs for the New York Times commemorating what would have been Georg Solti’s 100th Birthday (please be sure to go to his website – so beautiful!). An amazing career with a strong passion for bringing musicians from around the world to perform together. A Chicago institution, the Jewish-born Hungarian maestro mused out loud that if musicians from all walks of life can perform together (as they did often under his baton), then why couldn’t world diplomats and their respective countries live in harmony as well?
There is something in the human spirit that binds us together, whether we know it or not; it’s our love for all that is beautiful! It is an enigma as why humanity can go to that shadow side of life, to a bizarre and ugly universe, and do such terrible things to each other. Long-live Sir Georg Solti!
James Levine to conduct again in May after two-year injury layoff.
The Met announced that James Levine’s first performance is scheduled for May 19, 2013, about a month before his 70th birthday. He is to conduct the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in a concert at Carnegie Hall. Maestro Levine will return to the podium after a two-year absence. A fall last year left him partially paralyzed. Levine is without a doubt one of the most celebrated and brilliant conductors of our time. His repertoire consists of everything because he can conduct everything. We all welcome his return and pray for his continued recovery. The music world has missed you Maestro!