Posts Tagged ‘audience’

Why I Can’t Wait Until Wednesday

Here is what I am most anticipating in the next 8 Days: Day 4: Patterns and Structure, Day 5: Being and Becoming and Day 6: Civil Disobedience. And which of the three am I most excited about, you ask? Day 5, because Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is AMAZING. Something about that piece of music makes me absolutely crazy—in the best sort of way. The first time I heard it performed was in Orchestra Hall during the 2006-2007 season opening weekend. It was Peter Oundjian conducting Lang Lang and the DSO, and the performance was incredible. It was completely transporting, and I was very close to dancing around in the box seat area of Orchestra Hall. Which, since I am employed here, might not be entirely appropriate. (You, however, should definitely dance around in the boxes.)

I’ve been obsessed with this piece ever since that weekend. I have it on my Ipod (Valery Gergiev conducting Lang Lang and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre) and I listen to it in the car quite a bit. I love cruising down I-75 and blasting this Rachmaninoff piece. I’m sure people who pass me on the road and see me dancing around in the car would guess that I am listening to some Minor Threat, or at the very least, a good Neil Diamond jam. But really I am listening to Rachmaninoff! Anyways, don’t miss hearing this piece on Wednesday. You’re crazy if you do. Stuart Goodyear is supposed to great—and Peter and the DSO always are. And you can look for me—I’ll be the DSO employee behaving inappropriately in the boxes.


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The Magical Music of the DSO

Last Thursday and throughout the weekend the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed the Magical Music of Disney. This concert weekend has been one of the most fun weekends I have had since working here.

Like most people I really enjoy Disney cartoons and the music that goes along wtih them. Some where along the brain storming for this concert a few of us came up with the bright idea to have actual Disney characters in Orchestra Hall and the Atrium before the concerts, at intermission and after the concert. That meant that we would have to be the characters if we could find the costumes.

After some phone calls we were able to get two costume shops to donate 6 different costumes. If you were able to make it to a coffee concert or the Friday evening concert, you would have seen Snow White, the Evil Queen, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Alice in Wonderland and her white rabbit.

We all had a wonderful time and for some reason I was more suprised by some of the children’s reactions than I was with our coffee concert patrons. The performances that I was able to see were great. I enjoyed getting taken back to so many movies that meant so much to me while growing up!

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Bronfman (stops) playing Rachmaninoff

Ok, so I may have lagged a little bit in writing about this—but I still want to talk about it. Typically there are about 100 things going on at the DSO. Between concerts, DSO events, rental events, education programs, etc. etc., there is rarely any time that’s boring or dull. But recently, there was something that happened that was extra interesting. I was at our “Bronfman Plays Rachmaninoff” concert a couple Thursdays ago, and in the middle of Bronfman playing Rachmaninoff, he STOPPED PLAYING. It was crazy. My jaw dropped. At first, I thought it must be some sort of planned performance art that I didn’t know about. It wasn’t. It was a stuck key and Bronfman didn’t want to continue playing until it was fixed. So obviously this whole thing could have been a disaster—had Bronfman been a poor sport he could have walked off stage, had Peter Oundjian (the evening’s conductor and the DSO’s Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor) gotten upset with Bronfman it could have thrown the whole concert out of whack, had the audience not been patient they could have left… But none of that happened. What happened? Bronfman and Oundjian turned it into a comedy routine! It was unbelievable. And very, very funny. They took what could have been a really terrible, uncomfortable moment and turned it into something really special. And I think the entire audience felt that way—they witnessed something they would never forget. I know for myself, I’m really, really glad I was here to witness this particular “disaster.” I’ll always remember it.

Oh, I forgot to tell you how it was fixed—the DSO actually has a piano technician, Hugh Gulledge, who is in-house whenever a piano soloist is performing. He was called to the stage and proceeded to dismantle the keyboard (in front of about 1,800 people) and repair the key. All in about 15 minutes. The audience was quite impressed— and then the concert continued.

See, you never know what might happen here!

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Cake leads to music

We couldn’t do the math on our lunch bill at HoJo’s last week, so ended up buying a guy at the next table a piece of chocolate cake — to make a round number (everyone should get free cake once in a while right?). He started talking about Marie Antionette/France/revolution, which led to us talking about the DSO’s “8 Days” festival, which is about the historical/policial context of music. My question — how do we reach out to someone who patronizes a restaurant only a few blocks away, but hasn’t been to The Max? Maybe he has, and I just don’t know, but we need to connect with these educated, engaged types and invite them to see how exciting classical music is. Cake guy, if you read this, email me!

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B. Marsalis back at the Max

So… Branford Marsalis is coming back to Orchestra Hall with his quartet this Thursday May 17. It should be a cool show. I’ve heard the new CD Braggtown is good, anyone heard different?

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