A Day to Remember!
On June 1st, Martha and I celebrated our 52nd Anniversary, a very special day for the two of us which started with me making cherry pancakes for breakfast. Some of you know that in the Salomon family we have such a passion for food and for sharing that passion with others, that our family crest is a crossed fork and knife -- I wear a ring to prove it. If the idea of cherry pancakes tempts you, get some Arrowhead Buttermilk Pancake mix and a can of sour cherries (Oregon is our favored brand). All you have to add is a tablespoon of canola oil and a cup of water or milk (I use almond milk) and you're in business. All very easy, and to make them fluffy I fold in the beaten white of one egg. A little olive oil in a couple of frying pans, ladle in batter for smallish pancakes, add sour cherries and then top off with more batter to cover the cherries -- cook over a small to medium flame. When both sides are nice and brown, serve with a tiny bit of butter and then some great Vermont maple syrup from the Robb Family Farm and you have a truly celebratory breakfast!
June 1st is also a special day because that is when Richard Goode celebrates his birthday (in London this year), as did our longtime friend and former Marlboro Trustee and Musicians from Marlboro series sponsor, Herbert Ashe, who almost made it to 101. Other notable birthday folk, according to my indispensable Boosey & Hawkes Music Diary, include Nelson Riddle, Edo de Waart and Flicka von Stade (wonderful recollections of a concert that she and Richard Goode did for us many moons ago in the Peoples'Symphony Concerts series at Town Hall). June 1 -- a day to remember.
Other 2013 highlights (as of June) include the amazing Carnegie Hall recital Richard Goode gave of the last three Beethoven Sonatas for 2,500 enthralled concert-goers and one New York Times critic who wrote that he "produced a glowing, warm sound that traversed the full dynamic spectrum from hushed intimacy to agitated power" and Jeremy Denk tweeted, "Richard Goode's 110 just now was one of the greatest things I have ever heard."
I heard Richard Stoltzman at Carnegie Hall a few nights ago in a fun concert organized by his amazing marimba virtuoso wife Mika. Lots of wonderful musicians including another star couple, singer Gayle Moran Corea with a few surprise appearances from that piano-playing fellow called Chick Corea. The concert included some truly magical playing from him and Dick on a personal favorite, My Funny Valentine.
As one critic put it: "two consummate artists, who share a clarity of voice, astounding technique, musical breath and generosity of spirit."
This brought back some great memories from a Tokyo Music Joy Festival which had Chick and Keith Jarrett playing on Dick's night, which also included Copland and Rossini concertos, Takemitsu chamber music and lots more -- a panorama of Stoltzman's fantastic talents in a multitude of genres, proving once again that there is no one who can make the clarinet sound and phrase like the most supreme singer.
For those of us who work behind the scenes in these challenging times, it's hearing our artists in concert that reminds us why all the hard work is so worthwhile. Sir Simon Rattle’s two weeks with the Philadelphia Orchestra was one of those great reminders. From Sibelius # 5 & 6 to Ligeti with Barbara Hannigan to the Beethoven Pastoral, the Orchestra and all of us listening couldn't have been more inspired.
Seems like I'm recounting super musical experiences backwards chronologically, which seems most appropriate given that I have been counting birthdays in that direction. In early April, I celebrated my 43rd (for the second time). While I am my 'new' age at heart, there are some folks, like our daughter Yana, who can't be fooled: "Dad, I hate to tell you but, for 43, you look like s__t, but, for 77, you look terrific!" In the Salomon family, we tell it like it is.
Leon Fleisher, who has been beguiling us on the concert stage for some seven decades, has earned the right to "tell it like it is" musically, and he is doing it with gusto around the world. In May, he conducted the Bamberg Symphony in his wonderful "Mozart First & Last" program and the Bochum Symphony at the Ruhr Piano Festival celebrating the anniversaries of Britten (Diversions with our great Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein) and Poulenc (Concerto for Two Pianos with Goldstein & Katherine Jacobson Fleisher) with both those artists joining him for the Mozart Triple, K. 242. In June, he conducted in Taipei and Japan, then he plays Ravel and Mozart at Tanglewood and Ravinia and conducts Beethoven for Uchida with the Cleveland Orchestra. All quite amazing!
Of course, we're always happy with the great reviews our artists get but what really is especially meaningful for us is when our presenter friends let us know how a performance has gone. Here's what Dan Gustin (CEO of the Gilmore Festival and a form manager of the Boston Symphony) recently wrote:
"Alon Goldstein’s solo recital here at the 2012 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival was one of the highlights of our festival of over 90 concerts. This is the second time we have presented him (the first being in 2002), and while he was very impressive years ago, he has grown into a very remarkable musical artist. We look forward to having him back!"
I've known conductor Douglas Boyd since he was 17 when Alexander Schneider brought him to solo with and play in the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. (Hard to believe that this December will be the 40th year of the project I started in 1969 for our country's most talented young musicians.) Dougie has grown into one of today's most compelling conductors -- someone who approaches his music and musicians with a fresh and exciting vision. He's a favorite in Seattle, among other places, where his concerts in spring 2013 prompted the Symphony's Simon Woods to write, "Terrific concerts. He's such a mature and deeply musical artist."
Since we are talking about conductors, another superb musician and conductor, who is also a great soloist and chamber music artist, Jaime Laredo has garnered recent raves for his Beethoven. The New York Times wrote about a recent Carnegie Hall concert, "one of the most moving Eroica performances in recent memory," and a few months ago the Cleveland Plain Dealer seconded the motion. We're also excited to have eight orchestras on board commissioning Andre Previn to write a double concerto for Jaime and his cellist wife Sharon Robinson - to be premiered in November 2014.
The work that Andre wrote for The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio has been such a huge success that we have high hopes that the Double Concerto will also be heard far and wide. The Trio's concerts this season have thrilled audiences everywhere and a Washington Post critic wrote on April 30, "the KLR players are superstars of the chamber music world, and from the first notes of the evening it was clear why."
And this is just five months worth of wonderful musical experiences. We've got the Marlboro 63rd season and seven months of FSA artists to look forward to and to enjoy!