The way it was in Washington
Never say never. I'm making one more pass at the vexed subject of the decade's greatest hits.
Obviously, anyone's top ten list reflects personal bias. (Here's another one I think is worth looking at: not mine, but my husband's.) And top-ten lists are so random that the same person can come up with several different ones. (One of mine specifically focused on the decade's top CDs.)
But a commenter on the last "best-of" post raised an interesting question by observing that none of my Top Ten moments of the last decade was specifically related to Washington.
(read more after the jump)
Certainly, my leaving Strathmore out of my list of new halls built during this decade was a major oversight. And Marin Alsop's arrival in Baltimore perhaps should have been mentioned. But I wonder what other Washington-area events would qualify among the top ten most important stories in the entire classical music field over the last ten years.
My own feeling is that one would have to make a top-ten list specifically devoted to Washington. So, in the waning hours of the old year, I throw it open to you: what are the most important things that happened in classical music in Washington between 2000 and 2009?
Here is an off-the-cuff list of my own suggestions, besides the abovementioned opening of Strathmore and arrival of Alsop.
- The NSO's search for a music director; Iván Fischer's interim tenure.
- The Washington Opera becomes the Washington National Opera; Plácido Domingo takes over as General Director in 2003; first simulcast in 2005.
- Washington's choral scene undergoes significant changes: Robert Shafer founds the City Choir; the Master Chorale folds; Julian Wachner takes over the Washington Chorus. But J. Reilly Lewis and Norman Scribner celebrate 25 and 45 years at the head of their respective organizations.
- Washington's early-music scene underlines its identity with the establishment of the Washington Early Music Festival.
- The Wolf Trap Opera breaks ground with the blog of its director Kim Witman, revealing its whole audition process on-line, a huge service to young singers and a fascinating look behind the scenes for audiences.
- Antony Walker takes over as music director of the Washington Concert Opera.
- Notable operatic world premieres in DC include Democracy (WNO) and Volpone (Wolf Trap). The NSO performs new works by Mason Bates, Jefferson Friedman, Daniel Kellogg, and Jennifer Higdon. And the Verge Ensemble, 21st Century Consort, and the fledgling Great Noise Ensemble are among many local groups offering other significant premieres.
- Michael Kaiser comes to the Kennedy Center.
- The National Chamber Orchestra becomes the National Philharmonic; the Fairfax Symphony gets a new music director.
But I didn't get to town until 2008, and I know I've left things out. Please chime in.
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