Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, New York

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday, February 3, 2015

Look at the MOST awesome Riccardo Muti standing at the piano...he is the Chicago Symphony's Music Director (their
conductor)....I've seen a bunch of symphony performances via Wendy but this one was so unique, so earth shaking...
I finished watching Charlie Rose's interview with Muti from the night before this performance and it was amazing.
In a nutshell, he said the CSO is the best orchestra in the world, they respect and admire each other and when you have
that, it is amazing.  Amazing it was...Bravo I say.

Wendy and I before the concert
This photo is from Yahoo but I did get to meet Riccardo Muti, back stage and it was a THRILL...
He's so charming and I have to say, I'm crushing on him.  He gave me his trademark double Italian kiss and I about died.
The CSO and Muti is the best, divine pairing in the world and hearing them play in Carnegie Hall was unbelievable
My ticket thanks to Wendy and a cellist

Carnegie Hall is an amazing place

The full subway ride.....

As they say, if the subway car is empty, there's a reason why....some homeless man got off this train and the entire car
stank of human poo...I kid you not, Wendy and I made it down one stop and we hopped off and onto another
was so gross and I can handle poo but my God....We later shopped at Michael Kors new store in SoHo.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I have loved classical music since Wendy and I met.  She's played the violin since she was trained using the Suzuki method at age 5.  I tried to get into the violin in junior high but I quickly figured out that the violin and I don't like each other.  Anyway, thankfully Wendy included me once again on the Chicago Symphony's tour to Carnegie Hall in New York City.  The last time I came to see the CSO in New York was 2007.  Wendy's fabulousness translated into sharing her awesome room at the Le Parker Meridien and sharing many meals before their concerts.  We did trek to SoHo twice, once to have sushi at Tomoe (Ryan Lawson's pick for sushi) and to the new Michael Kors flagship store on Broadway where the manager of the store was once someone Wendy babysat in Houston when she was in graduate school at Rice.  Small world, I know.  Anyway, thanks to Wendy for sharing her weekend, bringing me backstage to meet the incredible Riccardo Muti (and I had that amazing double Italian kiss that made my knees weak) and catching up over several meals.  I've already checked the CSO's schedule, Muti is conducting over the summer so I will somehow figure out how to be there...

I should also mention Muti has three beautiful children and has a 5 year old grandson with his name and he said on Charlie Rose's show that he is exactly like him (how sweet:)).  Muti has many musical gifts, piano, violin, conducting and I'm sure there are many other ways to describe him musically.  Of all the concerts I've been to of Wendy's, this one was my favorite, it was extraordinary.  Carnegie Hall is a special place that produces its own unique sound.  The program was Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83 and Robert Schumann Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major Op. 97 "Rhenish".

From his website: Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director
Honorary Director for life of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini Founder

Born in Naples, he studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella under Vincenzo Vitale, graduating with distinction. He was subsequently awarded a diploma in Composition and Conducting from the Conservatory "Giuseppe Verdi," Milan, where he studied under the guidance of Bruno Bettinelli and Antonino Votto.
He first came to the attention of critics and the public in 1967, when he was unanimously awarded first place by the prestigious jury of the "Guido Cantelli" competition for conductors in Milan. The following year he was appointed principal conductor of the "Maggio Musicale Fiorentino," a position he maintained until 1980. In 1971 Muti was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, the first of many occasions, which led in 2010 to a celebration of forty years of artistic collaboration with the Austrian festival. During the 1970s, he was chief conductor of the London Philharmonia (1972 to 1982) succeeding Otto Klemperer. From 1980 to 1992, he inherited the position of Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra from Eugene Ormandy.
From 1986 to 2005, he was Music Director of the Teatro alla Scala and under his direction important projects were undertaken such as the Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy and the Wagner Ring Cycle. Alongside the classics of the repertoire, he brought many rarely performed and neglected works to light,including pieces from the eighteenth century Neapolitan school as well as operas by Gluck, Cherubini, Spontini and most recently performance of Poulenc's "Les dialogues des Carmélites" earned Muti the prestigious "Abbiati" prize from the critics. The long period spent as musical director of the La Scala organization culminated on December 7, 2004, in the triumphant re-opening of the restored La Scala with Antonio Salieri's "Europa riconosciuta,"
Incredible his contribution to Verdi's repertoire, he conducted Ernani, Nabucco, I Vespri Siciliani, La Traviata, Attila, Don Carlos, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Macbeth, La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, Otello, Aida, Un ballo in Maschera, i Due Foscari, I Masnadieri.
His tenure as Music Director has been the longest at Teatro alla Scala.
Over the course of his extraordinary career, Riccardo Muti conducts most of the important orchestras in the world: from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the New York Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de France, as well as, the Vienna Philharmonic, an orchestra to which he is linked by particularly close and important ties, and with which he has appeared at the Salzburg Festival since 1971. When Muti was invited to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in a concert celebrating its 150 years,he was presented with the Golden Ring by the orchestra as a sign of special appreciation and affection, awarded to only a few select conductors. Four times he conducted the prestigious and extremely famous New Year's Concert in Vienna in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004.
In April 2003, the French national radio channel, France Musique, broadcast a "Journée Riccardo Muti" consisting of 14 hours of his operatic and symphonic recordings made with all the orchestras he has conducted throughout his career. On December 14 of the same year, he conducted the long-awaited opening concert of the newly renovated Opera House "La Fenice" in Venice.
In 2004, Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which is composed of young musicians selected by an international committee from some 600 instrumentalists from all over Italy.
Muti's recording activities span the classical symphonic and operatic repertories to contemporary works , which have received recognition in the form of many prizes.
Riccardo Muti's social and civic conscience as an artist is demonstrated by concerts in a number of places symbolising our troubled past and contemporary history, which he has conducted as part of "Le vie dell'Amicizia" (The Paths of Friendship) project, produced by the Ravenna Festival . These include Sarajevo (1997), Beirut (1998), Jerusalem (1999), Moscow (2000), Yerevan and Istanbul (2001), New York (2002), Cairo (2003), Damascus (2004), El Diem, Tunisia (2005), Meknes (2006),Concert for Lebanon (2007), Mazara del Vallo (2008), Sarajevo (2009), Trieste (2010) and Nairobi (2011) with the La Scala Philharmonic and Chorus, the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the "Musicians of Europe United," a group made up of the top players of Europe's major orchestras and most recently with the Cherubini Youth Orchestra.

Innumerable honors have been bestowed on Riccardo Muti over the course of his career. He has been made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Italian Republic and has received the Verdienstkreuz from Germany; recently he received the decoration of Officer of the Legion of Honor from French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a private ceremony held at Élysée Palace. He also was made an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in Britain. The Salzburg Mozarteum awarded him its silver medal for his contribution to Mozart's music, and in Vienna was
elected an honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle and the Wiener Staatsoper. Russian President Putin awarded him the Order of Friendship, and the State of Israel has honored him with the Wolf Prize for the arts. He has received honorary degrees from many universities in Italy and abroad.
He conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in the opening concert for the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth in Salzburg Grosses Festspielhaus. In 2012 the continuous collaboration between Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic will reach 42 years.
In Salzburg for the Whitsun Festival with the Cherubini Orchestra he began in 2007 a five-year project dedicated to the rediscovery and the valorization of the musical heritage, operatic and sacred of the Neapolitan School of the 18th Century.

In September 2010 he became Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and he was named 2010 Musician of the Year by Musical America. In February 2011 Riccardo Muti was awarded two Grammy Awards at the 53rd annual awards ceremony for his live recording of Verdi's Messa da Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. His recording won Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance. In March 2011, Riccardo Muti was selected as the recipient of the coveted Birgit Nilsson Prize, presented in a ceremony on October 13 at the Royal Opera in Stockholm in the presence of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and H.M. Queen Silvia. In April 2011, he was honored at the sixth annual Opera News Awards, and in May 2011 he was awarded Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts. The award was presented last autumn in Oviedo at a grand ceremony chaired by H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias. In July 2011 he was named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic and in August 2011 he was named an honorary director for life at the Rome Opera.
In May 2012, he was awarded the highest Papal honor: the Knight of the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI.

August 2012

Happy Birthday Granddad and Memaw, Birdeye

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chloe thought about lighting about 70 candles but we just used what we had....

Word Sneak Stella vs. Chloe

August playing Pictionary

A great dinner!

Buddy jumped in my car the other day and refused to get out so he got
to spend the afternoon in my office.  He did remarkably well
This was the highlight of the evening, August drew "handy man" and you can see he drew a man with a HUGE hand...
we all were totally cracking up!  hahahahahahaha :)

Chloe asked for a yoga class for Christmas so we go twice a week...
we love it!
Jan. 24, 2014

Chloe loves having people over so Kara let us host Harmon and Jeanie's birthday again at our house.  Harmon turned 70 today and Jeanie will be 71 next Friday.  We had manicotti, Kara's delicious salad and homemade bread and strawberry birthday cake.  We topped off the night with Chloe's birthday video she made for them, a neat slide show of everyone from birth till now, pictionary and Jimmy Fallon's Word Sneak.  It was a great evening filled with lots of laughs.  Happy Birthday Memaw and Granddad!

Strong Inside by Andrew Maraniss, Memphis

The cover

Jackie was known at Vanderbilt as JH....
He and Andrew both wrote for the Vandy student
newspaper the Hustler.
Chloe's big enough to go most places now :)

I loved his book talk at the National Civil Rights Museum...
It was so interesting
Two weeks ago we went to Memphis on a Thursday to the National Civil Rights Museum to see one of Jackie's Vanderbilt classmates give a book talk on Strong Inside, a book about Perry Wallace.  Perry was the first African American SEC Basketball player.  It was such a neat hour hearing about his research, learning of his respect and long-time admiration of Perry and Perry's sister, a Memphian was there in the audience which made it very special.  I cannot wait to get into the book, I've already searched for the book on tape but it's not out yet.  Jackie bought an extra copy for our local library in Wynne.  I gave it to them last week and they asked if we could get Andrew to come to Wynne and I said yes.  :)  And no, I didn't ask Andrew.