NSO in a new state
The National Symphony Orchestra’s first American Residency of the Christoph Eschenbach era will be conducted by -- Hugh Wolff.
The orchestra announced today that its 21st residency, in February, 2011, will take it to the state of Kentucky. The exact schedule has yet to be announced, but the nine-day trip around the state will involve at least two orchestra concerts, plus a wide array of chamber concerts and outreach events.
(read more after the jump)
Planning these residencies is a formidable logistical task. Not every community that would like to host an NSO concert has a hall big enough to hold 100 musicians on stage. After the available halls have been identified and the orchestra’s main route planned, local coordinators solicit proposals from smaller venues that would like to interact with the musicians: anything from elementary schools to, in Arkansas in 2009, a local comedy improv troupe.
Meanwhile, the NSO’s musicians submit their own proposals, on a purely voluntary basis (they get an honorarium, but far less than the fee for an orchestral concert). About half of the orchestra’s musicians generally end up participating, some more than others, partly depending on the nature of the requests; after receiving proposals from musicians and venues, administrators try to match up ones that seem a good fit. In West Virginia this spring, the violinist Glenn Donnellan made 8 appearances at schools and community centers within a week, in addition to orchestral concerts. Not everything works out; last year, a harp group in Morgantown, West Virginia, put in a request, but the NSO didn’t happen to be traveling with a harpist for the program it was playing.
It’s a huge commitment for all the musicians involved, and with Christoph Eschenbach’s busy, planned-far-in-advance schedule, too much of one for him. Between February 17 and 25, while his new orchestra is moving between Frankfort and Lexington, Louisville and Paducah, he is scheduled to be on the other side of the pond, leading the Bamberger Symphoniker in performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis before going up to London for a Mahler program with the London Symphony Orchestra. In Hugh Wolff, though, a former associate conductor of the NSO under Rostropovich who has since gone on to a very respectable career, the NSO players have a fine partner who they also happen to like.
Posted by: 74umgrad1 | August 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse