Music@Menlo / August 2, 2008
Past and Future
By Janos Gereben
Music@Menlo's survey of music history arrived triumphantly
at 20th Century Unlimited over the weekend. Program IV,
"The Rise of Modernism," shone with rousing performances
of Debussy, Stravinsky, Gruenberg, Ives, Britten, Prokofiev,
and Shostakovich. The sold-out house in St. Mark's Episcopal
Church was hot not only in the wake of an unusual 90-degree
day in Palo Alto, but also from the heat of creative juices
flowing freely all evening long.
A couple of hours before he joined five fellow luminaries
for an ovation-inspiring performance of the Prokofiev
Overture on Hebrew Themes, David Finckel quietly scurried
about behind the audience at the preview concert, taking
pictures of the performers. With a big smile on his face,
he focused on fellow cellist Will Chow on stage, and he
worked the shutter con vivace.
Chow, 14, is a student in the San Francisco Conservatory
Preparatory Division. Finckel, who has a teenage daughter
of his own, beamed with parental pride. Between clicks,
he spoke with quiet conviction: "I would be happy just
working with them."
"They" are the festival's Young Performers Program Artists,
ages 8 to 18, and the older International Program participants.
Over a couple of decades in Aspen, La Jolla, and elsewhere,
I have watched Finckel and Wu Han, Music@Menlo artistic
directors, invest themselves passionately in training and
nurturing young musicians. This festival is a glowing tribute
to their dedication, a showcase of stunning results. ....
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