Musings from the Maestro

Musings from the Maestro

Imagine a World Without Music

Imagine a world without music. A world without the comfort of a mother’s lullaby.

A world without music’s healing powers — for our irreconcilable griefs and unfathomable mysteries of life and death

The list is endless because each of us expands that list with the richness of our own lives and experiences. I recently worked with some high school musicians who were so gifted and whose talents came so naturally that I felt that they didn’t fully appreciate just how special they truly were.

So I conducted the following experiment with them: We imagined a world without their music; a world without music at all.

Imagine! No poignant memories of the music from adolescent’s first kiss. No music to mark important landmarks in our lives — birthdays, marriage, holidays.

What about music’s ability to provide an escape from our daily stress — concerts and clubs, movies, television and radio?

Nothing to dance through life to.

Imagine! But places actually do exist in which this isn’t just an experiment — in which music is essentially banned. It seems unfathomable for these American high school musicians because music and the “pursuit of happiness” are as natural as the very air they breathe.

My talks with the students about the meaning that music has in our lives served as the inspiration of our 2006-2007 season.

The Alexandria Symphony’s season was conceived to celebrate the importance of music — music of lasting value — and its dramatic importance in our lives. The seasons enormous range of music and emotions encompass Beethoven’s Ode to Joy to the music of Duke Ellington; Tchaikovsky’s and Berlioz’ tender and moving settings of Romeo and Juliet to the popular music of Zefferelli’s film of the same name.

ASO’s opening night is a testament to the unique treasure that is music. I find the words to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony more poignant and more transcendent in 2006 than when they were first written.

To keep the evening on an inspiring note, Midori, one of the world’s most beloved musicians, joins the ASO in Brahms’ Violin Concerto which unfolds like an unending string of golden nuggets of sound.

ASO’s Opening Night will represent music at its most unbridled and celebrate its power to transport, to comfort, and to uplift.

See you Opening Night.