From the Maestro

From the Maestro  

201404241986 Who can forget that unspeakably exciting moment when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon?  I get chills just thinking about it.  I remember it clearly, though I was very young.  “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Wow.  It’s overwhelming!  The overlapping layers of extraordinarily complex science and math that contributed to this miracle of human accomplishment are indeed daunting.  There were so many moments when the mission could have gone totally wrong and nearly did.  A multiplicity of complex calculations for every step, every maneuver, every moment.  So much genius contributing to so much triumph!  Walking on the moon was way more than a scientific accomplishment or adventure.  It was a symbol of human accomplishment.  It was a moment for all humanity and all time.  It was one of the great moments in history.

Our friend Dr. José Francisco Salgado, astronomer and videographer “extraordinaire” made a wonderful choice with Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloe as the soundtrack to his film Moonrise.  The music is other-worldly, magical, cosmic.  It is also intense and evocative of deep human pathos.  The excitement of “Daphnis” builds to an enormous climax, a loud shout of the human spirit, the happiest of all “happy dances!”  Our purpose in crafting every ASO season is to have a powerful impact on the audience.  I think we’re accomplishing our goal handily with this multi-media tribute.

Speaking of other-worldly, we’re embarking on an enormously exciting new adventure with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™.  This will be our first time doing one of these more recent films with live orchestra.  In this case, unlike many of the silent films, this is original music – and indeed brilliant original music – written exactly for this movie.  I wonder if there has ever been a composer who so completely dominates a genre as John Williams has dominated the last 50 years of film scoring?  Maybe Wagner was that dominate in opera?  Maybe Beethoven was that dominant in symphonies?  It’s hard to say, but clearly, John Williams’ genius at finding the exact kind of music to fit a movie scene is utterly paramount.  (No puns intended!)   However, his music is so strong, you don’t even have to see the movie to enjoy its music!  It’s brilliant and stands completely on its own.  We are so excited to be performing his score and really look forward to the challenge.  Expelliarmus!!!

The ASO Neighborhood concert is one of the most enjoyable events for me in the entire ASO season.  It’s casual, interactive and just plain fun!  And – its FREE!  The orchestra plays a mixture of shorter, lighter classical works with some film scores, pop songs, patriotic music and some audience “fireworks” at the end.  Kids can ask questions and get to know the orchestra a little.  It’s wonderful fun for me and I certainly hope for the audience, too. 

<August 2020>


Thank You

The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is funded, in part, by the Atwood Foundation, Richard L and Diane M Block Foundation , Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Assembly, Alaska State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and through the generosity of many individuals and corporate community leaders.
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