something to get excited about

by pieces of moments

Special shout out props to Mark (one of my partners in musical crime, and a very, very, talented vocalist) for hearing this piece about the freshly minted music director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, on Morning Edition whilst he was stuck in congestion on the roadways this morning (see kids, this is why you should always have the radio on in the car – you never know what you will hear!). You need to listen to it. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.


You know, I have a total love/hate relationship with autumn. I love it for the crisp air, the apples and apple cider, the burning color of the leaves, and that crackle-swoosh music your feet make just walking down the sidewalk. I hate it because it leads straight into winter. It’s like the calm before the storm, or a blissful ignorance prior to be snatched into the jaws of the abominable snow monster. But, I have something to be excited about this fall – all the new music directors from coast to coast!

How perfect is this? We’ve got Alan Gilbert in NYC, Riccardo Muti in Chicago, and Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles. 1-2-3. East-Middle-West. Already people are chomping at the bit to claim theirs as the best new installment. Just now my interwebs are buzzing with forwards of this NY Times review of opening night at the NY Phil (and the debut of Gilbert) accompanied by an equal amount of friendly smack-talk, “But we have Dudamel…” writes a friend based in California.


Finally there is something to watch, developments to track, teams for which to cheer (I’m Team CSO all the way, though, admittedly a bit more skittish about Muti than Gilbert or Dudamel…but honestly what does that matter when your Conductor Emeritus is Pierre Boulez?).

Each has such different personalities, too. Muti, the controversial Italian with his La Scala fights and whipping the “Philadelphia sound” into lean, mean, modern, shape. Dudamel, the wunderkind of South America and El Sistema, with his massive head of hair and equally massive amounts of energy and personality. Gilbert with his quiet manner, his lifetime connection to the orchestra (his parents both played in the string section), and his obvious commitment to new music (first new piece on an opening night program since Bernstein??? Hello).

Check it out. I’m actually looking forward to fall this year!