Hello again after a long summer!! Today we got back on stage at Heinz Hall and rehearsed our Classical Preview concert that we will play tomorrow night. It feels great to be back together with my friends and colleagues……practicing at home just to stay in shape gets difficult to do over a long period of time. Today’s afternoon "service" was a photo shoot, the official portrait of the orchestra with our Music Director Designate was taken (which gives you a tid-bit of information that is pretty exciting……Honeck’s in town!). There was a point in the shoot where we were called on to create a "fun" shot. I’ll be interested to see how that one comes out……musicians can be pretty sneaky….(let’s hope the resolution of the photo is excellent).
The opening day at work was exciting, we have a colleague returning
to us from the University of Illinois (Jeff Grubbs) and we also have a
new colleague in the viola section (Erina
Laraby-Goldwasser)…..Welcome back Jeff (it was so hard thinking about
you being gone….I’m glad I don’t have to think about that anymore)
and welcome Erina!…..hope you are settling in nicely.
The day was fun, but tempered with a lingering sadness because we
lost a friend, colleague (subbed with the PSO in the 80’s, played in
the Opera and Ballet orchestras, beloved CMU professor of horn) and a
terrific and gentle spirit. Dennis Abelson passed away after a brief
but courageous and inspiring fight with cancer. Many colleagues just
learned of his death as they returned to work at Heinz Hall. I had a
brief conversation with Maestro Honeck and Larry Loh to inform them
that there is a memorial service tomorrow (that happens during the end
of our rehearsal) that many PSO members would like to attend. As it
would happen, I just received an e-mail saying the rehearsal order had
been changed (which will facilitate the most people being able to
actually make it to Dennis’ memorial). I think that speaks volumes to
the effect that Dennis had in the music community here in Pittsburgh,
and also to the compassion and understanding of our PSO leadership.
The thoughts of many of the PSO family are with the Abelson family in
this painful sad time.