CSP’s Patron and Legacy Event was a musical masterpiece. By Brenda Barrie
Arie Katz with Pacific Symphony Piano Soloist Simone Dinnerstein.
The Community Scholar Program’s Patron and Legacy Circle event, with the Pacific Symphony was enriched beyond music hearing from Symphony President, John E. Forsyte. He shared his personal history and memories of growing up in his intensely musical Hungarian Jewish family in this country. Before hearing the symphony, CSP members were also treated to what amounted to a ‘master class’ from Joseph Horowitz the artistic advisor and music historian. The Charles Ives Symphony No.2 was directed for the first time in California the evening of the CSP event by the Pacific Symphony Musical Director Carl St. Clair, who was a student of Leonard Bernstein’s and was mentored by him. The Symphony was written early in the 20th century but only introduced publicly at Carnegie Hall by Bernstein in 1951. At the time his music premiered, Charles Ives, still alive, listened in on the radio, from his neighbor’s 14
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home in Connecticut, where he had lived all his life, working as one of the most successful life insurance executives in America. His music, an all-consuming passion, remained essentially unheard. Ives’ music has remained largely unknown, although it predates Aaron Copland, who is usually termed “the father of modern American music” by an entire generation. The evening’s program was completed with piano soloist Simone Dinnerstein’s interpretation of Maurice Ravel’s Concerto in G Major for Piano and Orchestra and her especially stunning performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.