In putting together this program, I chose the Hebrides Overture, Scottish Fantasy, and Four Scottish Dances as musical works all inspired by the landscapes, folklore, and cultural heritage of Scotland. These works are examples of the Romantic era’s interest in folk music, nature, and the exotic, and they showcase the composers’ fascination with Scotland’s unique and captivating character. As a fan of American composers, I programmed Barber’s Second Essay for orchestra as a nice divertimento to this Scottish themed program.
I last performed with our soloist, Dr. Ariana Kim, in 1998 when she was quite young! Noted by The New York Times for giving “the proceedings an invaluable central thread of integrity and stylishness” and having “played with soulful flair,” violinist Ariana Kim made her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall during her graduate studies at Juilliard and is now a tenured professor at Cornell University. We are so fortunate to have her share her talents with us on this program.
“Excited” is the only word that comes to mind to return to this stage in Wayzata where I student taught (quite a few years ago). Looking thru the roster I know several of the performers but many are new to me and I look forward to getting to know them both on and off the stage in this exciting program that showcases the WSO in many different ways.
It’s hard to believe it’s already August, and WSO rehearsal start in September! It’s been a busy summer for us as we line up our four guest conductors, and begin promoting our upcoming season.
We are honored to have Keehun Nam, Dennis Friesen-Carper, Richard Haglund and Hannah Schendel leading our concerts from the podium this season. Each of them brings a unique and diverse approach to musical direction. You can check out their bios at this link. At the end of our season, the WSO Membership will vote in a new permanent music director. We hope you plan to attend every concert, and welcome you to be a part of this experience alongside us.
The process of searching for a new, permanent music director has been both challenging and invigorating for the organization. It’s given us the opportunity to look at who we are, and why we choose to serve the greater Twin Cities community. If you are reading this, you are already a part of our community. We never discount the importance and the value of having musicians coming together to perform free concerts that bring a little extra joy to someone’s life. In a hectic, complicated world, sometimes it’s the simple things that matter the most.
Please mark your calendars:
Click on the links above for full concert details.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we look forward to seeing you this fall!
Why Do Animals Sing?
I have wondered about nature’s music ever since my mother pointed out that it is everywhere if you will only listen. Birds, nature’s finest musicians, sing incredibly complex songs. With two sets of vocal cords, they can harmonize with themselves. Loons have been “calling” since the time of the dinosaurs! Humpback whales sing the same 30-minute song as they migrate and if one whale makes an adaptation, they all learn it and incorporate it into the song.
Our concert on May 1 is made up of pieces written by composers who were inspired by the sounds of nature and our guest, David Rothenberg, who has written many books on the subject, will provide valuable insight.
This concert will be especially meaningful for me because it will be my last as Music Director of this wonderful orchestra. It will be a bittersweet departure. As I told the musicians, my shelf life as a conductor has not expired but my instinct, which has never failed me, says it’s time for a change.
I look forward to seeing you all on May 1 at Wayzata Central Middle School at 3:00 pm. For details, visit the link below.