A new path
Starting this August I am officially the new Music Director for the Immaculata Symphony. It is an exciting new relationship with a wonderful group musicians and who dedicate a lot of time to their love for ensemble playing. Most players hold a second job in a different field, or as music teachers, while several are students at Immaculata University, a wonderful Catholic school that nurtures young person's hopes and dreams and unites spiritual values with a practical approach to life, in a contemporary context. I have high hopes and goals, first of all artistic, and I will try to be that catalyst that will motivate all to go forward. I know I can do it, but I wonder if I will be successful. Not musically, I know that together we'll make great music, but beyond it. I think the organization needs to make some changes, mostly in the image department. The fund-raising can be strengthen also. The board of directors consists of mostly orchestra members, who give a lot of extra time. In any case, for the first concert we'll tackle Bruckner's 6th, a great work. The idea came this spring; Sylvia and I went to a Philadelphia Orchestra concert with Vadim Repin as soloist in the Sibelius concerto. We selected seats in the second row, right in front of the soloist, and what experience that was. You could see every smile, frown, fingering, bow turn, articulation, bow edge at the bridge and more. After the intermission we contemplated moving further away for the Bruckner Symphony, the 6th, but we decided to stay put. We were right behind Eschenbach, and right by concertmaster David Kim (whom I know from previous masterclasses we did together in Wilmington, Delaware). By the way, David Kim is a wonderful artist and a very warm person, modest, giving and inspiring. In any case, hearing the Bruckner from so close up, seeing the first violin section rip into the initial Brucknerian motive, seeing even Eschenbach get excited, was an experience that made me want to be part of this great work. So, here you have it, it came sooner than I thought, and I look forward to building those great, deep brass sonorities, and the large landscapes that make me see the Alpine ridges, snows and valleys, the noble Germanic spirit that seems full of myth and tradition. November 1st is the date of the concert, and even the season seems right for the composition.