So here it is, eight months later, and nothing has been happening on the blog. That’s because a lot has been happening in other parts of my life!
Number One Excuse: The arrival of my new grandson! Liam made his appearance in February, and he’s the pride and joy of his parents and four happy grandparents. So, Chuck and I have spent a lot of time collecting airline miles in service of the newest member of the family.
A few musical highlights:
- Chuck has a concert on Sunday, May 5th at the Evola store in Canton at 2:00 p.m. His New Horizons group has suffered some personnel changes and is looking for players.
- I survived the Dvorak Symphony #8 under the direction of Nan Washburn with the OLPS Symphony in April. I missed a lot of rehearsals because of Mr. Liam — but did my best. We’re now in rehearsals for a pops concert. (June 10th, 3:00 p.m. at the Berman. Tickets are on sale now!)
- Viola Judy and I are heading back to Baltimore in June for another “go” at BSO Academy. At least two other musicians from Michigan will be joining us this year.
- Had a chance to see Barry Douglas playing with the BSO in the fall, under the direction of Vasily Petrenko – the hottest young conductor in Europe. Magnifico!
In all — apologies for being away so long. More insights coming soon.
It is, as we used to say in the newsroom, a “significant” anniversary. It ends with a zero.
The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has brought out all kinds of somber reflections on the day, remembrances of lives lost, and a lot of huffing and puffing about how “safe” America is these days.
While there’s been some of that on NPR, there’s also been some thought given to artistic expressions around the events of that September day, and their website is exploring 9/11 in the context of a lot of musical genres. Under the classical tab, they’ve been interviewing composers who have written music in tribute to 9/11, including such notables as John Corigliano and Ned Rorem.
I don’t know if Krzysztof Penderecki’s extremely moving Piano Concerto “Resurrection” will make the NPR list. Penderecki had been commissioned to write his first piano concerto for Carnegie Hall, and was working on it when the towers came down. It became a sound poem of the day, with echos of the fire truck sirens and the horror, captured in music.
Last year, Chuck and I heard the Nashville Symphony Orchestra perform the work with Penderecki himself holding the baton and Barry Douglas at the keyboard. Penderecki and Douglas have been working collaboratively to perfect the work, which is now in its third and final form. They recorded the work with the Polish Symphony Orchestra over the winter. The recording is supposed to be available on Naxos, but I have not been able to locate it. But Chuck did find this on YouTube. The quality is good — and it’s worth plugging headphones into your computer to get the full effect.
Just back from Camerata Ireland’s performance at the brand-new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana.
The view from our seats in the new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana
First of all, the facility is a winner. Chuck and I bought seats in the choral terrace behind the stage, and they were great. It was almost like sitting in the orchestra, with a full view of Barry Douglas conducting and nearly close enough to read the music on the stands. Continue reading
Members of Camerata Ireland
Camerata Ireland, the all-Irish orchestra founded by Barry Douglas, plays Carnegie Hall tomorrow night. It’s the first stop on a week-long U.S. tour that includes stops in Nashville, the Chicago area, and Indianapolis. They’ll be playing Mozart, Bunting, and works by the Irish composer John Field, who is said to have invented the nocturne form perfected by Chopin.
It’s part of a year-long celebration of Irish culture in the United States sponsored by the Irish tourism department. Continue reading
Chance encounters can change your life. That’s what happened to me when I encountered Barry Douglas, almost by accident.
Barry Douglas is a world-class pianist from Ireland, who skyrocketed to fame in 1986 when he captured the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky piano competition. Continue reading