[Original post at Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: Outside Perspectives]
My wife and I came to this weekend's concert with a friend and her young daughter. The whole week, she has been looking forward to the chance to go to the symphony, the music that she would hear, the dancers to see, the dress she would wear, the dresses that the musicians would wear, all part of the thrill of something that she had not experienced.The evening did not disappoint. We arrived early, because we knew that the Arthur Murray Dance company was having their demonstrations of the Waltz prior to the concert
We watched the dance class and demonstrations as they taught waltz and the polka.
As we got to our seats waiting for the concert to begin our friend was full of excitement, asking what all the instruments were, identifying the drums (timpani) various winds, violins. And she was asking about where the tuba was (answer: wait, it will come out later tonight). And wondering when the pianist was coming out (answer: when the lights dimmed). And then the lights dimmed.
As Sa Chen played with the orchestra in the concerto, we listened to the richness of the playing. The focus on the richness of the part, not the difficulty of the part. Something that we get with some of the older and mature players instead of the display of raw talent we often get from those who are younger. And to our friend, instead of listening to something clearly beyond her level of playing, she listened to music in its richness and sensitive. Then with the waltzes and polka of the second half, she heard the joy and happiness of a celebratory feel of a Vienna in celebration (and the much awaited tuba made its appearance)
We enjoyed the evening, having young friends experiencing the symphony. And other friends we had a chance to talk to throughout the evening, of holidays to enjoy, and milestones of life to celebrate over sweets and desserts.