In addition to an amazing concert, I met a new friend who I sorta scooted closer to halfway through the concert.
Here’s what happened. Mark Elder, a UKian composer, started the concert as most do. He started conducting without much fanfare. At the end of the first piece (Delius, A Song of Summer) he did what other conductors (with the exception of John Williams) never does: he spoke to us! He introduced the next piece (Sibelius, Symphony No 6) and made it so interesting I couldn’t wait.
Intermission came and went rather quickly, with me staying put. When the lights brightened on the stage, he came back up and introduced the next piece: Webern’s Five Pieces for Orchestra. Total time: 4 minutes. An entire symphony in just four minutes. He captivated me and I was DYING to hear it. He then invited us to stay after the concert to come ON THE STAGE and hang out while they re-played the piece. Totally, totally amazing.
And that’s where I met Mary. She was visiting on an off night. We went on and on and on about Elder and how we were planning to write the CSO to tell them how we felt. We continued our conversation on the bus and I rode home in bliss. It was a great night for symphony. They need a conductor like Mark Elder permanently.