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?
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)
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
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)