MTT: Da Capo

November 6th, 2006

MTTOf the many thrills I've experienced while holding down this magical talk-show-hosting job, chatting about music with Michael Tilson Thomas (tonight at 7:30; repeated on Friday night at 10:30) has to rank near the top. Amateur players like me (the oboe is my affliction of choice) rarely get to share our passion with world-class musicians like MTT -- so just to be able to ask my burning questions was a pleasure in itself. But what made the experience really swing for me was that MTT came back at me with his own passion for educating the public about classical music -- a form whose complexity (compared to pop music, at least) can seem daunting. In the marvelous series Keeping Score: Revolutions in Music -- a collaboration between the members of the San Francisco Symphony and their renowned music director -- Thomas guides the viewer towards the soul of some great pieces and their creators, showing the music to be both accessible and immensely rewarding.

oboeWhen I was a kid, my godmother, an Auschwitz survivor named Edith Solomon, would bring me to Leonard Bernstein's young people's concerts at Philharmonic Hall. Edith, a flutist, was a gaunt woman of few words, but these events -- through Bernstein's great charisma and pedagogical gifts -- were a way for us to share something transcendent and meaningful. Talking with MTT put me in mind of those wonderful afternoon concerts, and I'm delighted that -- in conjunction with Keeping Score's debut this week on our very own KQED -- we are rebroadcasting this, our first show of this season. (To read my original blog post about this episode, click here.) And now, if you'll excuse me, I have get back to practicing my squawkerator -- um, I mean, oboe. ...

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