RPO

Christmas Eve Post

I've been so busy with the holidays that I missed the fact that Alex Ross named the RPO's new Gershwin CD one of the best of the year! (Read more here: http://www.therestisnoise.com/) Finished The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand last night. Today I'm playing my last services as the choirmaster and church organist at my Episcopal church. I have barely enough time to wipe away a tear of bittersweet relief before the whirlwind of visits begins. Wednesday, off to Ohio to visit a college friend. I hope to post a few times over the next week, including Things to Look Forward to in Rochester in 2008. Merry Christmas to you!

Deck the Hall

Twice this weekend, I zipped up my black boots for the drive to Eastman Theatre to sing Handel’s Messiah with the Rochester Oratorio Society and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. I could go on at length about the wit and drama in conductor Christopher Seaman’s interpretation, what a pleasure it is to sing for him, and how, for me, the oratorio gets better each year like a vintage bottle of wine.

RPO, Grammys

Jeff Tyzik must be bummed.

The RPO’s excellent Gershwin CD didn’t make the list of Grammy contenders announced today in Los Angeles. About pianist Jon Nakamatsu’s 2007 much-praised collaboration with the RPO, my colleague Mordecai Lipshutz said, “At least they’re selling well.”

"That's not right!" exclaimed my friend Carl Pultz when he heard the news that the RPO had been left off the list. Carl says this proves the nominating system is "corrupt."

RPO diagnostic

How do ticket sales and attendance figures for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra compare with those of other orchestras? Find out at this link:

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2007112...

On the topic of classical music at the Flipside Bar, cellist Diego Garcia described his experience playing in the chamber group Quartsemble in this beautiful way:

The RPO, Musical Chairs

It wasn’t earth shattering, but it was mildly surprising.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra switched the positions of the cellos and violas the other night. The cellos are now sitting in the center of the orchestra between the violins and violas, and the violas are closest to the audience on the conductor’s right side.

“[Pinchas] Zukerman had the Orchestra sit that way when he guest-conducted here,” Music Director Christopher Seaman explained via e-mail. “The string principals and I thought it would be worth trying again. The Cleveland Orchestra sits that way (I think), [and so does] the Baltimore Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony (Australia), Columbus Symphony, and many others.”

Seaman added, “No seating is perfect for every section or all repertory.”

Secret Confessions from Skitty

Oscar Wilde said that there are two kinds of people in the world -- tedious and charming.

I recently heard that there are two kinds of bloggers in the world – serious and cat.

A catblogger is someone who blogs about cats.

In other words, not to be taken seriously.

I’ve weighed the risks and decided to advance with my dubious plans to introduce a new feature to this space:

Secret Confessions from Skitty

Skitty says, “I don’t really like Beethoven. Totally overrated.”