July 6, 2011
A Concerted Effort
We walked to the ticket booth minutes before the concert and purchased the cheapest seats in the house. After all, we were there to listen. Sometimes, we peered over the balcony to see a quartet play. We listened to a seven different quartets play. My soon to be eleven year old, to my own astonishment, stood attentive and less restless than many adults would have been.
He had been cajoled into coming because I told him about Seiji Ozawa, the conductor. My son is a judoka and a manga reader. "Respect to Japan!" he said. Moreover, he is a violinist, or as he says "a swimmer who plays the violin."
We ran up the stairs of Victoria Hall, 6 sets of stairs to the very top, where tickets are a mere 25 swiss francs (and 13 for students). We entered the baroque interior of the theater. I came to realize that this was my son's first experience at a classical music concert!
The second part of the concert was composed of two sets of orchestras, one playing Beethoven. The finale was directed by Seiji Ozawa, whose name sounded all too familiar to me. It turns out he heads the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the violins and cellos with bare hands, no stick in hand. He appeared to be dancing with the music, in fusion with the instruments that he was directing in a concerted effort. I must admit I did miss out on all the precious occasions to have listened to him in Boston. But now, I was redeeming myself by attending and bringing a long my son.
Listening to the various quartets and then to the orchestras made me wonder about their long hours of practice, together, as a team, in concerted effort. Under the guidance of a maestro like Seiji Ozawa.
Incidently, it was a music infused night. My son knew that Coldplay's concert would be broadcast live on TV at midnight. We waited patiently and it was only a few songs into the concert that he fell asleep, on the couch, to their popular melancholic tunes.