Watch Ivan Hughes’ film Concerto, an intimate portrait of the MCO and its players, for free
Victoria Sparks coaxing gorgeous sounds from the marimba and vibraphone; Sid Robinovitch’s witty, pensive, and beloved percussion concerto; pieces by Mozart Sr. and Jr – we’re happy that these and other elements of our suspended 22 April concert (Moderns, Mozarts, and Mozart Imposters) can still be experienced online.
Last week, the MCO released a video conversation between Victoria and MCO Music Director Anne Manson where, via Zoom, they discussed Sid’s concerto and how are musicians coping and staying creative right now. Hear an excerpt from that concerto by watching the video here. We also suggest that you check out this Spotify playlist curated by Anne based on the repertoire for our 22 April concert and this Interactive Learning Guide developed for the same concert. While created for K-12 school groups, the guide is also perfect for the sort of inquisitive music-lover curious about, for instance, the real identity of the composer behind W.A. Mozart’s so-called Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major. (Hint: it’s not Wolfgang’s dad.)
This week, we’re delighted to provide you with free access (for the next month) of Ivan Hughes’ film Concerto about Victoria Sparks’ premiere with the MCO of Sid’s percussion concerto. As well as offering an intimate portrait of the MCO and its friends, the film tracks the dramatic experience of premiering a concerto as Victoria memorizes her part, overcomes fears and faces poignant adversity, and prepares to take her place at the front of the stage. Watch it by clicking here or the link below.
MCO cellist Desiree Abbey performs from home
Below Desiree Abbey, who frequently serves as the MCO’s principal cellist, delivers a touching thank you to healthcare workers and our partners at Artists in Healthcare, to whom the ensuing performance is dedicated. The performance, of Ligeti’s Sonata for Solo Cello, continues to pull at our heartstrings: it expresses all the secret longing Ligeti felt for the cellist for whom it was written – one Annuss Virány who, apparently being unaware of Ligeti’s romantic feelings, merely thanked the young composer for the gift and never performed it! Love hurts sometimes, bro.
The MCO thanks and misses our volunteers
Being a relatively small organization, MCO has always relied on our team of enthusiastic and multi-skilled volunteers. They provide valuable assistance with special events, office work and ushering at concerts. Quite often, volunteers are the first people from the MCO that concert-goers meet and as such, play a vital role in enhancing their concert experience. Our volunteers are also a tremendously fun group of people to work with!
These are challenging times for everyone and we have all had to adapt to the changes in our daily lives and temporary halt of activities and events that we enjoy in our community. As we continue to work and plan for the future, the MCO staff continues to be both heartened and strengthened by the support of our volunteers.
It is only fitting that as this is National Volunteer Week, we take the opportunity to acknowledge this special group of people who are so generous with their time and talents. MCO is indeed fortunate to have such wonderful friends. We miss you and look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Take care and stay safe.
Elise Anderson, MCO House Manager
Some musical offerings from MCO’s friends
Composer of ballets and searing rock tunes Glenn Buhr, a long-time MCO collaborator, just released a wonderful new album, Beatles-esque in its variety of influences, which we think you’ll like too. Check it out->
Andrea Ratuski and the MCMA present Music Journeys: Estonia and Finland, a three-week online course delivered via Zoom about the music of these two northern European nations, with a focus on J. Sibelius.
Here’s the second instalment MCO Concertmaster Karl Stobbe‘s ongoing, magical home performance series of Bach’s Partitas and Sonatas for Solo Violin. Click the thumbnail to the right to watch.
The MCO gratefully acknowledges support from the following: