7 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 10 - July/August 2002

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- MusrcAt VIARY by Colin

- MusrcAt VIARY by Colin EaJock _ A Connoisseur for Our Times June 5, 2002: As I approach Massey Hall's box-office, an elderly gentleman asks me if I'm planning to buy a ticket to tonight's Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Mendelssohn Choir concert. I say yes, and he offers to sell me a ticket he can't use at a discounted price. After carefully checking the merchandise, I decide that it's legitiinate and we quickly make a cash transaction. Only when I've entered the hall do I discover that the man who sold me my ticket also has a seat right next to mine. As he's a pleasant, outgoing fellow, we soon strike up a conversation. The first piece on the concert - Strauss's Four Last Songs, to be sung by Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka - reminds my new friend of llil event he attended many years ago in Austria: a 1960 programme featuring Bruno Walter leading the Vienna Philharmonic with soprano Elisabeth Schwartzkopf. Indeed, he has many fond memories of concerts, and I soon realize that I'm sitting beside an unusually devoted fan of classical music. As for the TSO, he voices several complaints - ranging from a tendency for the players to bury their heads in their music-stands to the fact that his donation is sometimes listed incorrectly in the programme - but it's apparent that he's deeply concerned about the orchestra's ongoing struggles. When the music begins, his cares are swept Strauss'~ swnptuous score. He listens with his eyes closed, his hands folded as in prayer. And when the piece comes to its conclusion, he sits in silence for a moment with a beatific smile, before breaking into wild cries of "Brava!" "I'm with the orchestra," he tells a young man at tlie door as we breeze through to the backstage area. Clearly my friend is not in the orchestra, but it's also clear that he has a strong personal connection to it: many of the players greet him by name, and he asks if Shey enjoyed the cookies he recently sent to them. However, on our way to the soprano's dressing-room, we are intercepted by a TSO administrator who very sensibly asks us to return at the end of the evening. For the second half of the concert, featuring Brahms' Requiem, my friend does not sit beside me; rather, he occupies a vacant seat in the front row, cheering and wildly waving his arms in the air at the end of the performance. When we go backstage once again, Pieczonka _ is ready to receive guests, and she graciously agrees to sign. his concert programme. As I watch the gentleman exit into the night During the intermission, he suggests that we air, happily clutching his autograph, I can't - talk our way past an usher and offer our help thinking that he belbngs to a dwindling personal congratulations to Pieczonka. I explain ' breed of concert-goers. Although his that I'm not really very good at that sort of enthusiasms are perhaps a tad eccentric, there thing - whenever I try to go backstage to meet aren't many people left nowadays who make an artist, I'm usually stopped by a liveried classical music a central focus of their lives, teenager who officiously tells me that only who l,isten with keen ears and unalloyed authorized guests may be adrp.itted. And in any delight, and who would send cookies to their case, I wonder to myself if this is the best time local symphony orchestra. for such a venture. But I decide to follow him, · just to see what happens. Even if he does shout bravos at the top of his lungs, or intrude backstage, or inconvenience administrators, it's connoisseurs like him who have been the backbone of support for classical music over the centuries - not just financially, but through heartfelt displays of appreciation for great music and outstanding performers. In our cynical times, we need more like him. WOW! 8,000 Sheet Music Titles! Canada's largest selection of sheet music titles for strings. Avail d convenient mail-ord As a fall-service string shop we offer the following: + Violins • Violas • Cellos + .Instrument Rentals +English,French,l\fan + Repair, Restoration, a + Strings Accessories, B 26 Cwnbul!IDd, 2nd Floor. Tch 1-416-960-8494 Emaih Free Parking! Open Mo11.-Sat. 10-6 Thurs. until 8 pm. CONDUCTORS WANTED at HART HOUSE, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO for Hart House non•audltloned musical ensembles composed of students, staff and alumni members; run by a student committee. CHAMBER STRINGS CONDUCTOR • professional experience conducting a chamber string ensemble required • ability to work as a mentor • honorarium provided • Monday evening rehearsals • 2 concerts per year SINGERS CONDUCTOR • Professional experience conducting a 4 part choir required • ability to work as a mentor • honorarium provided • Monday evening rehearsals • 3 concerts per year (including summer) Please send resume and covering letter to: Conductor Search (Chamber Strings or Singers) Hall Porters' Desk, Hart House University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle Toronto, ON. M5S 3H3 Application deadline: Tuesday, July 23, 2002, 5 p.m. Hl\RT HOUSE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO Telephone: 416.978.2452 7 Hart House Ci~cle 10 . July 1 - September 7 2002

Oshawa-Durham Symphony Orchestra presents: Lara St. John In concert with ODSO, performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D. Major And Marco Parisotto, conductor and music director With Oshawa-Durham Symphony In Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony LARA ST. JOHN Sunday, September 29 at 2:30 p.m. at George Weston Recital Han, 5.040 Yonge St., Toronto Tickets at the theatre or call TicketMaster at416-870-8000 Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. r MARCO PARISOTTO at Calvary Baptist Ch~rch, 300 Rossland Road E. Oshawa. Oshawa tickets call 905-579-6711. MAKING SOUND BETTER . CLASSICA,0/@n July 1 - September 7 2002 11

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