Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Getting out of the parking garage immediately after the symphony ends
is usually a bit of an ordeal,
so my symphony group tends to linger downtown
for some coffee or dessert,
allowing time for the post-symphony traffic jams to clear out.
The other night, we went to
restaurant just a block from Benaroya Hall.
(Verdict: Not a good dessert restaurant.)
After we placed our orders,
violinists Elisa Barston (my current
"favorite symphony performer")
and Mikhail Shmidt came in and were seated at the table
next to us.
I tried not to stare,
but even though I've sat
quite close to Elisa Barston before,
this time I was even closer.
(There were two other people at their table, but I couldn't tell
who they were because they were facing away from me.)
As another coincidence, it was during the concert we had just attended
that Mikhail Shmidt dropped his bow.
I didn't see it occur;
my guess is that it fell off his lap during a pizzicato section.
It was during a relatively loud part of the piece so you had to be
pretty close to the stage to hear it fall.
I heard the clatter, looked over, and saw the violinist calmly
bend over and pick it up.
He and his standmate played the next few bars with smiles on their faces,
clearly amused by the minor snafu,
something to make the performance of an orchestral warhorse
a bit more memorable.
(I have to admit, I was amused too.)
One thing I noticed was that whereas my group was out for dessert and
coffee, the symphony performers were having dinner.
During a performance, you don't want to be overcome by
indigestion, a food coma, or an urgent call of nature.
receive a phone call for that matter.)
As we got up to leave, a member of our group struck her head
on a low-hanging lamp.
In the brief hubbub, Elisa Barston reassured us,
"That's okay, I hit my head on that lamp all the time."
Which means either that she comes to Union often,
or (more likely) she just said that to make us feel less embarrassed.
This was the third time we found ourselves at the same post-concert
restaurant as a symphony performer.
I guess if I see Susan Gulkis Assadi at a post-symphony restaurant,
I'll have completed the entire set of string section principals.
(I'm ignoring principal bass, because, well, everybody does...)
I counted Joshua Roman as a zero in the list above,
since we saw him go in, but we were heading to
so it didn't count as a "same restaurant" encounter.
Bonus chatter 1:
I happened to have attended the open rehearsal for this
same concert earlier in the week,
so I got to hear the second piece on the program performed
The first time was by the orchestra without soloist.
Then with the soloist.
The -and-a-half was all the fragments the conductor
This was an interesting way to be exposed to the piece for the
Hearing the orchestral part first biased my reaction to the piece.
Instead of hearing it as a violin concerto, I perceived it more as an
orchestral work with solo violin accompaniment.
Other interesting things from the rehearsal:
Bonus chatter 2:
I was tempted to title this entry
When out on the stage there arose such a clatter,
but the dropped bow was such a small part of the article,
and the clatter was relatively insigificant,
so it would have been a bit of a misrepresentation.