We’re in the middle of a heavy stretch of work at Heinz Hall. Last week we played Mozart 25, Strauss’ "Death and Transfiguration" (made even more poignant by the passing of Peter Guroff, beloved member of the viola section), and Brahms Piano Concerto #2 with Emanuel Ax.
With the heaviness of the week centering around Peter’s death on Tuesday, the orchestra’s string section organized some music for his memorial service. The string section played "Air on the G string" so beautifully, Cindy played a movement from the Mozart "Oboe" quartet (an adagio that wept with pure grace), and the viola section played two pieces….Amazing Grace (arranged by Stephanie Tretick), and a piece (with Almonds in the title) that Peter had once played in an assisted living center, thus becoming many residents’ favorite grandson. Perhaps the most generous contribution to the service was Manny Ax playing a Brahms piece near the end. With all the words that need to be expressed on such an occasion, it’s the music that ends up giving the most comfort and solace. It was a beautiful service. Again I’m reminded of what a special family the PSO is.