Later this month I conduct a program with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra which includes the Sibelius symphonic poem, Finlandia. As part of my preparation, I did a quick search of YouTube to see and hear some video clips of the piece being performed live. I was delighted when I found an old black and white clip with the New York Philharmonic led by Leonard Bernstein.
I’ve been a fan and devotee of Mr. Bernstein’s work since I met and studied with him in conducting classes at the Tanglewood Music Center many, many years ago. Mr. Bernstein’s conducting of Finlandia featured his usual hallmarks: intelligence, insight, and passion. But what struck me most was when the cameras cut to individual audience members. One camera lingered on the face of a young concert-goer, not much younger than myself when the performance took place, presumably sometime in the sixties.
My wife, Laurie, standing in front of a poster announcing the return of Phantom to Hamburg.
The Phantom returns to Hamburg
Since it’s been about a year since my last blog post, I think it’s appropriate that I make a New Year’s resolution: I will post more regularly. And the fall of 2013 certainly gave me an abundance of material about which to write.
There is a sentiment among alumni of Phantom of the Opera that has to do with the extraordinary longevity of the show: “One never really leaves Phantom.” There is a new company of Phantom of the Opera that opened in the beautiful city of Hamburg. The Thanksgiving Day opening marked the return of the show to the Hanseatic city after a ten year absence.