I could not have been more heartened or happy about the experience of performing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (for the first time!) last weekend. I'll have more thoughts on this, but I'd like to say thanks to the extraordinary colleagues I had with me on stage. Looking over at some of my best friends while we took everyone through that half-hour journey was the purest reminder of how special it is to make a career in music. Congratulations to everyone involved.
From February, 2015:
The Orchestra has been on a great path this year, and Anu Tali's work with us has been extraordinarily satisfying. Hearing my colleagues play with such rich sounds and such fine phrasing is incredibly inspiring to me. In Sarasota, we're lucky to count many retired musicians among our patrons. Musical luminaries often grace our audiences, and several of them recently took pains to tell me that they thought our recent Enigma Variations with Anu Tali was the best they'd ever heard the piece done. And, they weren't the only ones:
And, we've also just finished a rewarding set of concerts with the wonderful Carlos Miguel Prieto as our guest conductor. I had the special chance to host one of the Orchestra's "Classical Conversations" with Maestro Prieto, and the audience was thrilled with him. We talked through the many connections between Beethoven and Berlioz, giving our audience different perspectives on the works we would be performing (Beethoven's 4th Symphony and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique). We even gave them a "surprise" by presenting examples and text from "Lelio," Berlioz's little-known sequel to his famous Fantastique. Our rehearsal and concert experiences proved to be equally engaging, and I was reminded of how special it is to be part of a group which so completely and sincerely cares about the music we play -and about our audiences.
Ahead, we'll conclude our Masterworks series with two different programs (Anu Tali returning from Europe to join us again), and then I will turn to Mozart (for his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings and for his Clarinet Concerto). Later I will be rejoining The Lincoln Trio and Arianna Zukerman for performances of "Annelies" in Dallas, TX, and Columbus and Atlanta, GA.