Inside the Houston Symphony

Taking you behind the music–one concert at a time!

Posts Tagged ‘Dan Rather

Home sweet home …

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Dear Dan Rather,

Thank you so much for coming to our concert last Thursday, and for tweeting praises about it!  Twice!  So glad you enjoyed the performance.  You are always welcome, please come again!

Sincerely,

Kiju

To everyone else who came, THANK YOU SO MUCH, too!!!  Our Carnegie concert was such a success because of you!

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Friday, we all flew down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, exchanging freezing sidewalks for balmy beaches!  Our first concert on Saturday evening was at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.  There was a very large turnout, the audience was incredibly sincere and not without sense of humor.  There was hearty chuckling before the movement Saturn (Bringer of Old Age), and Uranus (well, how do you say it?).

Our final concert was Sunday evening at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.  Again, incredible turnout, even larger than WPB.  Very enthusiastic audience.  More chuckling before those two movements.  (Isn’t it said that we all revert back to our childhood as we age?)

Overall, both Florida performances were huge hits.  Our entire tour was a huge success!  Going on tour, wherever it may be, is so critical for the health of a major symphony orchestra.  To be able to share and spread our art and love of music increases our fan base, and garners more international support.  Touring is beneficial for the Houston Symphony, and also for a thriving, expanding, globalizing, prospering city such as Houston.  Not only do we represent ourselves, we also represent the city in which we are located.  I hope we may continue to tour more, as we have done in the past, in the future.

Many thanks and shout-outs to people, without whom this tour would be impossible.  Thanks to everyone on the Houston Symphony Board and Administrative Staff for organizing and arranging everything.  Thanks to HS management for taking such good care of us on the road (thanks Steve for letting me use your laptop!).  Big, big, thanks to the HS stage crew (Donald Ray!!!  Kelly!!!  Cory!!!) for being so awesome and magically switching the stage at least three times a night.  Finally, big thanks to Mario of Mario’s Catalina Restaurant for serving the best Cuban food… and Mojitos…

Now — home sweet home!  I’m going to relax and watch one of my favorite movies, Tampopo.

Written by kiju

February 4, 2010 at 11:25 am

The importance of great classical music halls

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A view to the top of Carnegie Hall

This past Thursday evening, I performed at Carnegie Hall for the first time.  What a life-changing experience!  There was such incredible energy amongst the musicians, the crew and staff, and (walking through the front lobby before the concert) the audience.  I was thrilled to step onto the stage and look out to a packed house, and I was thrilled to see this packed house jump to their feet at the conclusion of our performance.  Their enthusiasm was overwhelming, and I was so proud to be a member of the wonderful Houston Symphony, whose hard work and effort was most deserving of this positive reaction.

There is a reason why it is such an honor to be presented by Carnegie Hall – it is one of the greatest concert venues in the world.  The acoustics were absolutely incredible.  A colleague of mine in the symphony told me the moment she stepped onto the stage and heard the clicking of her shoes reverberate throughout the hall, she knew right away how amazing it was.  The acoustics were completely different from anything we experience in Houston.  It was so easy to hear myself play, and it was so easy for me to hear all of my colleagues play, which made it so easy for all of us to play together.  The easier it was to play together, the better connected we felt with one another, thus creating a more unified, musical experience. 

It is such a powerful feeling to create beautiful music.  It is even more profound to share this beautiful music with our audiences.  I want people who come to our concerts to have an enriched, *meaning-filled* experience.  I would like them to walk away from a concert feeling… just feeling… anything.  Whether it is a feeling of satisfaction, intensity, or curiosity, or whether they learned something or were inspired, I just want them to be affected.  Playing in an acoustically sound hall impacts everyone, it benefits everyone, and I feel we achieved this during our performance.

The Vienna Musikverein is considered one of the greatest music halls in the world--said to have "Golden Sound in the Golden Hall."

I hope that more people realize the importance of having a great classical music hall, especially in cities they truly care about.  To be able to have access to emotional, powerful, beautiful music is artistically, culturally, and humanistically beneficial for communities.  As cliché as it sounds, I firmly believe that music is a unifying force that brings people together, and for me that is the ultimate goal.

Getting off my soapbox, and into bed for a good night’s rest.  One last concert tomorrow evening, our final evening in Florida.  Stay tuned for exciting stories about the Florida leg of our tour in my next post!

Fun facts:

Dan Rather, native Houstonian, was spotted at our concert!!!

Can you imagine that in 1960, Carnegie Hall was almost demolished to be replaced by an office tower???  Thank goodness for Isaac Stern.

Written by kiju

January 31, 2010 at 11:17 am