cubanmiamiboy

Festival Miami.09/30-11/04. 10/01/11

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Tonight I went to the opening night of the Festival Miami, an annual music event that opens the South Florida arts season while expanding academic opportunities for students. As per their website, Festival Miami presents between 25 to 30 concerts, master classes, and lectures over a five-week period. Each event falls under one of four themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Creative American Music, and Music of the Americas.

Tonight's program was devoted to the French Horn,and it was called French Horn Celebration, feauturing The Frost Symphony Orchestra directed by conductor Thomas Sleeper.

Gunther Schuller's Horn Concerto No. 1 was one of the offerings. This is a 1943 modernist piece Mr. Schuller composed when he was just 18, and it was played by the fine American hornist Richard Todd, whose own ceLebrACiOn was also on the schedule-(the acronym hinted at in the title is that of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, for whom Todd wrote his seven-minute work). Two other horn-heavy works, Haydns beautiful Symphony No. 31-(my favorite piece of the night... :clapping: )- and Richard Strauss'-(never one my favorites)-Till Eulenspiegel rounded out the evening.

Less than seven minutes long, CeLAbraCiOn is a delightful piece with good, soulful tunes over a variety of swinging Afro-Cuban grooves and big-band inspired sound from the trumpets-(it was music one could perfectly imagine as if being in the La Habana Sans Souci Cabaret and Casino from the Meyer Lansky era. One could call this Todds Cuban Overture, and it was obvious that he was having a great time onstage.

If anything, I was happy to see the horn as the guest of honor for once. The horn actually has a large and excellent solo repertoire, as well as being one of the most treacherous but lovely orchestral solos. Maybe we dont think of it that way very often, but in bringing two hornist-composers to Coral Gables to kick off Festival Miami, organizers are reminding us why we should.

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Tonight's program was devoted to the French Horn,and it was called “French Horn Celebration”, feauturing The Frost Symphony Orchestra directed by conductor Thomas Sleeper.

Gunther Schuller's Horn Concerto No. 1 was one of the offerings. This is a 1943 modernist piece Mr. Schuller composed when he was just 18, and it was played by the fine American hornist Richard Todd, whose own “ceLebrACiOn” was also on the schedule-(the acronym hinted at in the title is that of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, for whom Todd wrote his seven-minute work). Two other horn-heavy works, Haydn’s beautiful Symphony No. 31-(my favorite piece of the night...

A program focused on the French horn - what a great idea. I don't know where you find the energy, but thank you for telling us about these evenings.

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I don't know where you find the energy...

I don't know either, but working the hospital night shift really gives me the advantage of getting the most out of the days...(although sleeping time gets reduced... :excl: )

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I don't live down there, but we do get Miami Public Radio so I often hear interviews and publicity about upcoming concerts. I'm always astonished about how much good classical and serious contemporary music is being performed -- usually by locally based musicians. It's an under-reported aspect of the Miami scene. You are lucky, Cristian. Glad you are able to get out to see and hear so much.

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