I try to avoid having more than a month elapse between blog posts, but I’ve failed in this effort this time, my last post having been Sept. 23rd. There has been a lot going on, musically, in my life. Here’s a brief recap of my orchestral activities since that last post.
September started relatively quietly, but with a variety of concerts. A Rodrigo y Gabriella started us off, followed by a full screening of Star Wars: A New Hope with full orchestra – that was fun! We then did a slightly underwhelming (both in terms of the charts and the audience draw) Music of U2 show.
The season was formally launched with the Opening Night Gala with Renée Fleming. That was notable for starting off with perennial pain in the ass Don Juan and then having an absolutely gorgeous orchestral song cycle by Kevin Puts (Letters from Georgia), which refers not to the state or country, but to Georgia O’Keefe and her vivid and intense correspondence. Renée was, of course, her usual spectacular, radiant self.
Jun Markl, one of our favorite guest conductors, returned for his fourth visit, bringing pianist Inon Barnatan along with him. Copland wrote a Piano Concerto – who knew? Not me! And it’s good! Also, Brahms’ Fourth Symphony – also pretty good! The notable work on the program: Katie Balch’s OSO commission Chamber Music, which showed a strong voice and command of the orchestra. I’m looking forward to hearing and performing more of her music!
Our second classical subscription set brought a new guest conductor, Micha Nesterowicz of Poland. He brought two delightful works from his homeland – the Little Suite of Lutos?awski, and Orawa of Kilar, for string orchestra. Also on the menu, the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with soloist Karen Gomyo, and Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony. It should be noted that our ace piccolo player Zacharia Galatis was on top form for all of his many solos this week!
A pops show featuring music of the swing era with Jeff Tyzik followed, and now we’re in the midst of our third classical set of the season, with Carlos Kalmar back on the podium – more on that in the next round up!