Kids, I’m gonna tell you an incredible story…

Quicksilver Baroque
Quicksilver Baroque

In April of 2014, the Concert Hall had some incredible stuff going on. SIREN Baroque, Discovery Orchestra, and the Shirley Sugarman Interfaith Forum had already happened, and the Jill Spurr Titus Scholars’ concert was just around the corner on April 13 at 7 p.m. I’ve told you kids about the Jill Spurr Titus Scholars, right? They’re fantastic. But I’ll get to that part later (like, “next week” later. This is one of those absurdly long, multiple-installment stories).

First, I want to tell you about Discovery Orchestra, which was as much fun as I expected it to be. Artistic Director/host George Marriner “Billy Mays” Maull was engaging and entertaining, and I certainly learned a lot about the humor embedded in Rossini’s “Overture” to The Barber of Seville. Maull talked at length about listening rather than hearing, just as he did last time, and the final run-through of the piece was even more delightful because of his listening tour (they even finished off with an encore of the “Overture” from William Tell, which then stuck in my head for the next 500 years).

I don’t really know how the Shirley Sugarman Interfaith Forum went because I wasn’t there, but I know it featured Israeli author Ari Shavit, who recently wrote a bestselling book called My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. I therefore assume that his lecture probably revolved around Israel and, by necessity, the Palestinian conflict. So it really is too bad that I couldn’t be there for it, because that is one interesting and pressing issue. I did hear the applause at the very end from the theatre wing across the rotunda, so I will conclude that it was successful.

And of course I couldn’t make SIREN last Saturday either, which is last week’s major regret. My cohort Rachel assures me that they were excellent and very charismatic. If you recall, their program consisted entirely of early music by female composers, of which there is a general (and lamentable) dearth in our mainstream canon. So not only are they talented performers, they also know a thing or two about making a point through music. Of course, Rachel’s stamp of approval only increases my despair that I couldn’t experience it for myself.

But you know, if I hadn’t missed that concert, I probably wouldn’t be as excited about next season’s da Camera series. Because that season is going to be legendary. First we have Quicksilver returning to the Hall on October 3 to present some more awesome baroque compositions; after that, Parthenia will be around on November 1 to show us some examples of 16th century Scottish and English music for viol consort and voice (and featuring Ryland Angel, who rocks). And finally on February 21 of next year, violinist Alexander Woods and several associates will perform several early Italian sonatas for violin. Like I said, it’ll be awesome. I’d advise you to start thinking about it now. Worth waiting for it.

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