Tonight the moon shone bright while thrushes migrate in the nighttime sky. I peaked out to see the beauty, but only for a minute, because I didn’t want to miss a special television program on WQED on incoming conductor and Music Director Manfred Honeck, of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
I was impressed by the goals of our new maestro. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially it was often stated in the program that his goal was to convey great music. He would not be satisfied unless the audience left the concert hall remembering the music. To him, it seemed, that the music always came first.
This show was well produced, and the first half filmed in the city of Vienna, Austria, Maestro Honeck’s home. He originally grew up in the country, a man of my own heart. I visited Austria in 1982, and was well impressed with the beauty of the the countryside as well with Vienna the city (Wien in German language).
I’m also impressed by his mastery of the English language. I myself have been learning German for quite some time, but I profess that my skills are no equal to his English ability. His speaking style, a slower and more deliberate method more like those of Austria than Germany, and the timbre of his voice, show the warmth of his personality. They claimed he is a musician’s conductor, being concerned with the needs of the musicians, apparently he is very popular with the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Having seen Maestro Honeck conduct last season, and watching the program this evening, I find his goals, temperament, style and abilities quite the perfect match for a conductor that I can welcome with open arms to Pittsburgh.