I have the pleasure of playing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra again this week. It's a mostly Tchaikovsky program, featuring cellist Johannes Moser in the Rococo Theme and Variations (Original Version), as well as the passionate and gorgeous Symphony No. 6, Pathetique. The guest conductor is Cristian Macelaru, who is currently the associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
I love Tchaikovsky. When I was still a violinist in high school, I played in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (since then the name has changed to Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras). In my second year, I was accepted into the Senior Orchestra, and on the first program maestro David Commanday led us in Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. It was early on in rehearsals that I realized just how powerful music truly could be. See, when I was younger, I didn't really want to play violin a whole lot, but I wasn't allowed to quit. It wasn't until I started playing with the Senior orchestra that I saw just how amazing it was. My love for Tchaikovsky may have started at a much younger age (my parents always played classical music at home, so it was always in my ears, even if I didn't know what was what), but I very distinctly remember the warm and fulfilled feeling at the end of a particularly rewarding rehearsal, when my soul was afloat with the fantastic sound of 60 young players joined together in creating the most passionate and romantic of sonorities. Playing that Tchaikovsky made me want to be a professional musician.
Playing the Sixth Symphony with the amazing ISO may be even more rewarding that playing the Fifth was so many years ago. This is a very good week, filled with truly happy practicing indeed. Join us if you can-- concerts on Friday and Saturday at 8 PM. We'll also perform Listz's Mephisto Waltz No. 1.