By Cathy Fuller | Thursday, March 3, 2011
It was on Dec. 5, 2010, at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston, that, as the final, triumphant chord of Brahms’s Second Symphony rang out, the audience leapt from their seats with a fabulous, unanimous holler. Brahms had galvanized the people in an overwhelming way. It was sheer joy.
It was the Concert for the Cure, organized by flutist Julie Scolnik to benefit breast cancer research. Sir Simon Rattle, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Artistic Director, had given an immediate “yes” to Scolnik two years earlier, when she asked if he would volunteer his time for the cause.
His schedule, though, was only going to allow for this one evening in December, 2010. Having played under his baton, and having survived breast cancer, Julie knew how worth the wait this would be. She gathered together a brilliant orchestra of players in the meantime, all eager to offer their time for the cause.
Rattle works in otherworldly ways. He doesn’t ever beat time. “Why should I?” he asked me. Instead, he inspires his players with gestures that are loaded up with meaning and shape - it’s as if those gestures hold the DNA that every phrase needs to navigate its perfect path.
In rehearsal, this struck me as magical. He had harnessed everything that a conductor could need. Within the space of just a few hours, with an orchestra that had never before existed, he molded music of balance, clarity, intelligence and passion. His wisdom about the way that these pieces are constructed allowed him to pave the way to the climaxes with just the right pacing and atmosphere. I will never forget the quality of hushed love that he brought to the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.
The concert began with Mozart’s joyous Piano Concerto in G, K. 453. It sparkled in the hands of Marc-André Hamelin, and it was astonishing to see how immediately Rattle caught on to Hamelin’s vision. After a rehearsal barely longer than the concerto itself, the spark was lit.
The Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure partnered with Julie on this event. I hope you'll visit them online to learn more about the race to end breast cancer, and the number of lives that can be saved by bringing education, testing and treatments to those who might otherwise never have learned to seek help.
Juile Scolnik and Sir Simon Rattle at the Concert for the Cure, Dec. 2010
Here is the complete concert, and below that, one part of the concert to enjoy in video form.
Boston's Concert for the Cure
(video produced by Cambridge Studios)
Concert for the Cure Orchestra:
Julliette Kang, concertmaster
Thomas Van Dyck
(images: Steven Isenberg)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
By Brian Bell | Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
In early September Boston lost one of its musical lights. After a courageous fight against illness, Charles Ansbacher passed away just short of his 68th birthday. His drive to bring classical music to the widest possible audience found its purest expression in the Landmarks Orchestra of Boston, which he founded in 2001. Upon his passing, the Landmarks Orchestra performed a memorial concert on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, conducted by Joan Landry. The program included music by Copland, Dvorak, Bernstein, and others in performances that featured violinist Mariana Green-Hill, pianist Ya-Fei Chuang, and bass Robert Honeysucker. For full details on the program, visit the Landmarks Orchestra, and to hear the concert, tune in at 6:30pm on Wednesday, Nov. 10 for a special broadcast of In Performance with Cathy Fuller.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, September 30, 2010