By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
Cleaning out the inbox with items that you may or may not have seen:
• Andrew Norman will become the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence for a three-year term beginning in July. He will succeed Derek Bermel and become the eighth person to hold the LACO post, which includes funding for a new composition and an opportunity to work in various educational opportunities. Norman, 32, was raised in central California, studied at USC and Yale, and now lives in Brooklyn. A Los Angeles Times story is HERE.
• Los Angeles Opera has paid off half of the $14 million it borrowed from Bank of America in 2009 during a liquidity crisis while it was producing Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The loan was guaranteed — not made — by Los Angeles County and the early repayment saves the company about $350,000 in interest charges.
• The financial crisis for arts organizations has apparently struck Trinity Church in New York City. Anne Midgette of the Washington Post has the story HERE. (Incidentally, it’s good to have Anne back on the “beat;” she was out on maternity leave.).
• You’ve undoubtedly heard about Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic, who stopped a recent performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 because of a persistently ringing cell phone. Tim Smith in the Baltimore Sun has a followup on this story with threads back to the original story HERE.
• A new opening on Broadway is The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, which has drawn greatly mixed reviews. You may remember this as the musical that was savaged by Stephen Sondheim in a letter to the New York Times last year (LINK). Martin Bernheimer’s review in London’s Financial Tines is HERE; predictably pulls no punches.
• I include this final story just because it’s so beautifully crafted and poignant (LINK). Daniel J. Wakin in The New York Times writes about what it’s like for a family to sell one of the world’s most famous cellos, the Countess of Stainlein, ex-Paganini of 1707, played for 54 years by Bernard Greenhouse, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Perhaps the key paragraph is what follows:
“Through the optic of history, those in possession of these instruments are caretakers, not owners. For their players, the transfer to the next caretaker symbolizes the end of performing, the termination of an artistic prime, the memories of which reside in long-used instruments. “The violin is not only a friend,” said Aaron Rosand, 84, once a prominent soloist in the tradition of the great Romantics like Oistrakh, Milstein and Heifetz. “It’s something that you live with. Every day it becomes more dear to you. It’s almost like a living thing. You treat it carefully; you treat it gently. It talks to you,” he said. “You’re caressing your instrument all the time. Parting with an instrument that has become such a wonderful friend is just like losing a member of your family.”
I resonated to this story. My former wife was a concert pianist and I was with her when she bought her Baldwin piano. She spent most of a day trying out Steinways but never found one that made her sing. Late in the day, we went into the Baldwin showroom (she was age 17 at the time) and when she sat down at this Baldwin L, it was love at first sight, a love affair she never let go.
P.S. The comments are worth reading, as well.
(c) Copyright 2012, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.
"Berkeley Rep scrutinized InstantEncore and the competition. We opted for IE and have no regrets. Designing our mobile site and app was affordable, collaborative, and on-time. We launched both, and we love them. We can’t wait to see what they do for the Theatre."