Entries by Melissa Kalal

The Golden Age

Marlene’s Musings October 7, 2019 What do all these pieces have in common? Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue Kurt Weill/Bertold Brecht: Threepenny Opera Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein: Showboat Copland: Symphony No. 1 1. All were written during a 10-year period of great cultural shift in America – between 1919 and 1929 2. All the composers were in […]

An Amazing Season To Come!

Marlene’s Musings September 12, 2018 I am studying like a fiend, preparing for the first concert of our 10th Anniversary Season. When I thought about repertoire to celebrate 10 years, I had to include Beethoven Symphony #5. I know it is familiar to everyone and most musicians have played it many times, including me as […]

Composing To Save Your Life

Marlene’s Musings April 3, 2018 Shostakovich 1906-1975 Shostakovich was recognized from an early age as one of Russia’s great composers. He completed his first symphony at 19 and by 26, his film scores, Cello Sonata and first string quartet were admired. His opera, Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk, played for nearly two years to rave reviews […]

I Adore Our Audience!

Marlene’s Musings January 1, 2018 I adore our audience! Late last year, Simon Sperl (our fabulous new executive director) and I met a few members of our loyal audience at Caribou Coffee on Lake Street in Wayzata. What a treat! As conductor, I see the audience as an entity but rarely get a chance to […]

Ann Bancroft, My Hero

Marlene’s Musings November 1, 2017 Years ago when I was conducting family concerts for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, I had the idea to ask Arctic Explorer, Ann Bancroft, to narrate Wolf Tracks by Beintus, a piece similar to Peter and the Wolf except in this one, the wolf protected.  I had a 50/50 chance […]

Excited for My 8th Season

Marlene’s Musings August 20, 2017 The Wayzata Symphony Orchestra is a unique orchestra. None of its members get paid to play. Their dedication to the orchestra, their disciplined personal preparation, their commitment to allowing risk in this ever-changing global orchestral landscape, their desire to continually improve: All of these attributes make me proud to be […]

Youthful Inspiration

  Marlene’s Musings July 25, 2016 During the summer when the WSO is off, I do other fun stuff. For the past 7 years, I have been very fortunate to conduct the showcase concert for the Young Artist World Piano Festival held in St. Paul each summer. Two winners are chosen from the competitors who […]