Monday, October 11, 2010

Changing of the Blog Guard

Hello everyone, this is Ivan Stefanovic, BSO's Assistant Principal Second Violin (don't you just love our titles?). I'll be happy to share some of my thoughts on things musical and otherwise in this space, so please visit often and tell everyone you think might be interested in a bit of an insider view into a life of a BSO musician. I've always enjoyed writing (as little as I have done so) and I like to think I may have gotten the bug from my Dad, who was a journalist (an Associated Press Chief of Bureau in Belgrade, Yugoslavia for many decades, now retired). So, here she goes. I hope it'll be a fun ride for you (and I am already enjoying it).

A note to self: do not take a rabbit stew on the Strathmore (or any, for that matter) bus again. The bones are way to small, and the whole ordeal, even if tasty, is just too messy. Oh, and my apologies to any non-meat eaters out there; you have my utmost respect! But, that is now history, as is Gotta Dance, our first Pops concert of this season, the week of which we just finished this Sunday afternoon. It was a fun affair, as it always is with Jack (Everly, our Principal Pops Conductor): many different styles of music, and many different types of dance, one of which was most (if not all) of us in the hall had seen before. These twins from Argentina danced to their country's counterpart's music (the ever popular Piazzola) with so much energy that it was difficult for us not to take our eyes off the music we were playing. And their dancing style bridged tap, disco, modern, and even some of the late Michael Jackson's moves. Quite a treat! It was also a great week for the fans of our Associate Concertmaster, Madeline Adkins, who, in spite of a nasty cat bite that had her in a hospital emergency room after Friday night's concert, handled her many solos with her usual elegance, style, and virtuosity.

Now I am looking forward to, first of all, another week of incredible weather (hasn't it been just brilliant?). I'm especially hoping it will hold until this Saturday, when I am running in the Baltimore Running Festival (a long name for a Marathon, don't you think), where I'll be running the Half-Marathon (a fancy name for "those who can't make it"). Cut me some slack though, I just started running this summer and I absolutely love it! That should make the third of this week's concerts rather interesting for me--my plan is to concentrate REALLY hard that evening at Strathmore (previous two nights are at the Meyerhoff).

The program this week features a 17-year-old conducting a first Symphony written by a 19-year-old! Namely, Ilyich Rivas, a 17-year-old BSO-Peabody Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor and Dmitri Shostakovich, the famous Russian composer, who made his feelings against the oppressive regime at the time known through his art (all the while fooling the officials into thinking that he was just writing patriotic music). Rivas, under whose baton we've only had rehearsals so far, is a brilliant and very amicable young man, and he makes his subscription concert debut with an American orchestra (that would be us) this week. I can't help but wonder how intimidating it must be for someone of his young age to conduct and demand things of a big group of people, most of which are all much older than him! He will be joined by a rising young German pianist Markus Groh, in Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto. Don't miss this one, it's a such winner!

So much for now, more as the week unrolls. Have a good one!

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