ten musical things I’m thankful for this year

  1. I have a job.
  2. I have a job for which I trained for most of my life.
  3. I have a job that I love.
  4. That Carlos Kalmar is our music director.
  5. That Elaine Calder is our president.
  6. That we have a terrific staff that breaks their backs for us on a daily basis.
  7. That Portland, Oregon is a wonderful place to live that also supports the arts in all its forms.
  8. Our legions of Oregon Symphony fans, of all ages and income levels, that come out to see our concerts.
  9. My 77 colleagues in the OSO, who all inspire, challenge, and make great music with me every day.
  10. Everyone else who puts the music first, and performs with integrity, passion, and focus.

And my two bonus things that I’m thankful for: my wife Heather Blackburn, with whom I get to play chamber music not quite often enough; and my colleagues in the Arnica String Quartet, who make the greatest music in the world a joy to explore.

8 Replies to “ten musical things I’m thankful for this year”

      1. hahaha, what about the “grateful dead?”

        this reminds me of a funny “messiaen moment” that y’all orchestra players might enjoy.

        one day in class, he was talking about careful preparation of parts & how they can help engender both accuracy of performance AND respect from the musicians doing the “dirty work.”

        then, with a marvelous twinkle in his eye, he mentioned how “occasionally” one finds that the 43rd chair of the 2nd violins might be sawing away in a near-death state – having somewhat given up the ghost after 30+ years on the career grind, etc.

        so, messiaen counseled putting “solo” even above an extended passage of tied goose-eggs.

        then, olly laffed & said that such a gesture of kindness (read; trick) would assure a more commanding rendition of the perilous passage @ hand AND revive both the posture & “death bow” of the near-deceased.

        so, may we treasure our health, continue to guffaw with grace and bountifully bow EVERY note as though it were our last.

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