Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Tonight I attended a performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in which my cousin Betsy was performing. She is assistant to the principle bass. Tonight's performance started with a quirky, but delightful piece by contemporary composer Steven Stucky, followed by Gershwin's Concerto in F major for Piano and Orchestra, with Rudolf Buchbinder on Piano. Following the intermission the orchestra played Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. After the performance, I commented to Betsy on the precision required for Stucky's piece. There were no parts of the composition in which anyone could get away with even a moment of sloppy play. Betsy, assured me that there would never be any sloppy play in the orchestra even if they could get away with it. She said, even in the moments in which they are not playing, they are each counting the time. Can you see how instrumental music can be instrumental in the development of math, and instruments, so to speak are really tools for the creation of music and of self?

My cousin Russell, who is Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Hawaii, told me about his recent visit to Japan in which he flew Japanese Air from one city to another. As each plane left the terminal, the ground crew would line up along side, place their hands together in reverence, and bow in respect. Can you imagine that level of engagement taking place at an American airport? Maybe not. But as the conductor entered the stage, the musicians stood in respect, and then at the end of the performance, the audience and conductor expressed our very loud appreciation of the orchestra's performance. Can you imagine a society in which members offered such respect to each other? OK, I'm naive but let's work on it.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Boy, get involved in other things for a few days and I miss all sorts of interesting things on the blog.

Mario