PSO blogger takes Latrobe by storm – Jessica Schmidt

Before time passes too quickly, I needed to take a moment to recognize
(and probably embarrass) fellow blogger and PSO horn player
extraordinaire, Bob Lauver, for a wonderful solo performance of Mozart’s 3rd Horn Concerto in Latrobe, PA this past Saturday evening.

Saturday night was the first time the PSO had performed in a
Community Engagement capacity in Latrobe, and we brought an evening of
everything from Brahms to Copland to the area residents.  It was also Larry Loh’s
(another fellow blogger- it must be something in the water!) first
Community Engagement Concert with the PSO- and he did a beautiful job
of leading the orchestra and speaking to the community from stage.

But…back to that horn concerto.  Bob was quite a picture of calm,
backstage.  I had heard him practicing the concerto alone on the Heinz
Hall stage several days before the concert, and I knew the audience was
in for a treat.  Because the Mozart horn concertos are such a staple of
solo horn repertoire, and because they are simply "Mozart"- they are
pieces that horn players practice every day until they die and still
feel they are miles away from mastering.  When performed well, their
sound is deceptive simple and pure, while their preparation and
performance is infinitely complicated and challenging.  It’s my humble
and personal opinion that many times, the Mozart horn concertos can be
performed in a way that makes them sound more "frantic" than they need
to be…  Bob’s interpretation was amazing- it had the Mozart "lilt" it
needed in the 1st and 3rd movements while still maintaining a sense of
calm and control, and he made the extremely melodic (and what I think
is also deceptively, the toughest movement to perform)  2nd movement
sound effortless.

Bob’s wife and three daughters were in attendance, and his wife had
arranged for the girls to surprise their Dad on stage during his bows
with some flowers.  My favorite point in the evening came when Bob was
taking his very professional bows to a thrilled audience, and he turned
to see his little red-headed girls running at him on stage with their
flowers.  Needless to say, it was a really sweet moment. 

So…since I know he won’t do it himself, I hope this blog entry
serves to "brag on" the talent that Bob shared with the Latrobe
community on Saturday night.  As Larry Loh said from stage, we truly do
have an orchestra made up of exceptional individual musicians.  So
much, in fact, that we can draw on any musician in the orchestra at any
time to perform in a solo capacity- and it is always a hit out of the
ballpark.  I send a fellow-blogger "pat on the back" to Bob and Larry
for sharing their talents with a new Community Engagement location (and
city of wonderful hosts and arts advocacy)- Latrobe.

1 thought on “PSO blogger takes Latrobe by storm – Jessica Schmidt”

  • Awwww shucks!! Jessica, thank you for such a warm and wonderful write-up. As calm as I may have seemed backstage, let me assure you that I was not far from freak-out mode. I won’t ever tire of writing about the special family we have at the PSO…..from the administration and staff to the musicians….sometimes we forget how fortunate we are. I felt so much genuine support and comeraderie from so many people that I get choked up thinking about it. At the reception I got some honest perspective. People were very kind in their comments to me, but when they mentioned my daughters I became aware that I was totally upstaged! Hopefully nobody saw me bawling like a baby when they gave me the flowers. Thanks again.

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