A Season of Music

When my symphony season brochure arrives in the mail, I devour its contents like most women devour chocolate when no one is looking. The music is that intoxicating. (Okay…sometimes I’m eating chocolate while I’m studying the brochure). I’m anxious to know who’s playing what, the featured composers, the choral works—then I begin marking the dates in my calendar to attend the symphony’s concerts.

This season, I did something a little different. I went online and checked out symphonies nationally. Because this is the year I need to expand musically, culturally, and listen to these notable orchestras in person. I’ve attended symphony concerts of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall (Pa.); the National Symphony Orchestra at The John F. Kennedy Center (D.C.); the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Fla.); but there’s more than 1,800 symphony, chamber, collegiate and youth orchestras across the country (according to the League of American Orchestras).

I may have to narrow my trips, at least for this season.

So throughout the year, I’m going to share with you, in this blog, who is doing what, when and where. At least as much as I can since I couldn’t possibly list everyone. I’ve included a very tiny list below (in no particular order) of notables as a start.

If you can’t wait—symphony seasons typically begin in September—I happened upon this link for a June 11, 2010 performance of Brahms and Haydn at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. The concert features Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, Violinist Livia Sohn and Violist Barry Shiffman. I’ve seen Weilerstein in concert twice and didn’t realize until seeing her performances that one could integrate so well with a cello. The duo is a harmonious blend of performer, instrument and music.

What about you? Which artist(s), composer(s) and piece(s) of music are your favorites?

Who, When, What and Where:
Emanuel Ax
Sept/Oct 2010 – Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

January 2011 – Brahms Clarinet Trio
w/ Yo-Yo Ma and Anthony McGill
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

November 2010 – Mozart, Bach and more!
Los Angeles Philharmonic

James Galway
March 2011 – Debussy and more!
Los Angeles Philharmonic
(note: I had the pleasure of seeing Galway perform in 2004 at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. As a special treat, he performed with his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, also a flautist)

Evgeny Kissin
February 2011 – Liszt
March 2011 – Grieg
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

March 2011 – Scriabin piano concerto
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Jonathan Biss – jonathanbiss.com
February 2011 – Beethoven’s piano concerto no. 3
New York Philharmonic

March 2011 – Mozart’s piano concerto no. 12
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Joshua Bell
October 2010 – Sibelius violin concerto
New York Philharmonic

Anne-Sophie Mutter
November 2010 – Mozart violin concerto nos. 1, 3 and 5
Wolfgang Rihm – World Premiere
New York Philharmonic

Lang Lang
December 2010 – Tchaikovsky piano concerto no. 1
New York Philharmonic
(note: if you haven’t seen him perform, you’re missing out)

András Schiff
October 2010 – TBD
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Yo-Yo Ma
With Emanuel Ax and Anthony McGill
January 2011 – Brahms Clarinet Trio
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Leon Fleisher
May 2011 – Ravel piano concerto for the left hand
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

Barbara Shirvis, soprano
March 2011 – Barber’s Knoxville: summer of 1915
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
(note: Barbara is acclaimed for her “gorgeous tone.” I’m inclined to agree. I’ve heard her on more than one occasion, most recently as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra)

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4 Responses to A Season of Music

  1. jmlacey says:

    Thanks Alison! What a lovely award!

  2. jmlacey says:

    Newton: Keep an eye out for upcoming posts on music and writing!

  3. I miss culture. I live in a very culturally deprived city – must drive 2 hours to see a show. My eyes turned a nice shade of green reading this – have fun!

    PS – I bestowed a most special honor on you…


  4. newton saber says:

    I like instrumental music (classical and jazz) too and I think it’s great for times when you are writing. It’s cool to get to go to live symphonies.
    ~Newton Saber
    100 Beginnings for Fiction Writers analysis of 100 novels and how we (as writers) learn from them.
    The Writer’s Invisible Mentor My writing project about writing and learning to write
    Saber Slice: More on Creativity and Writing

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