We’re playing an absolutely sublime program of music at the MSO this week. The all Saint-Saëns program includes the Danse Macabre, the Piano Concerto No. 2, and the Symphony No. 3 (or Organ Symphony). The program has moments that sparkle, as well as plenty of haunting melodies and lush orchestration. Each piece is also very different from the next, but compelling in its own way. Sometimes I feel like I’m being transported to the era of Johann Sebastian Bach with all of his amazing counterpoint, intellectual depth and supreme beauty; at other times, I’m in the realm of Felix Mendelssohn, full of delicate textures and fairly-like lightness. There are even times that I’m reminded of the Ukrainian composed Carol of the Bells! However, these reminders of other composers’ music are fleeting ones. The overall impression of this music is one of originality, uniqueness and mastery, and, ultimately, unmistakeably Saint-Saëns.
At times like this, I find myself wondering how to hold on to the joyous feeling I have playing this music, and how to continue to communicate this joy in a way that is even more satisfying to me in the future. Ultimately, as artists, we all want to communicate and touch others through our art. I feel truly blessed that my creativity has many outlets and I want to continue to honor them all. More than anything else, as I’ve gotten more mature as a person, the connection to others is what is ultimately of most importance to me. As I embark on my journey away from the Milwaukee Symphony next year, I foresee a time of great growth, of following my passions and working to create an even more balanced tapestry of all of my artistic endeavors.