March 25, 2009
Last night on WQED-FM, a little after 8pm, I just happened to tune in at what I would call 'the perfect time.' Well anytime is a good time, but on this occasion it was indeed perfect because I was listening to a concert recorded a few months ago at Chatham University; a concert, coincidentally, I had intended to attend, but was unable. So I was delighted to hear this music, and with three members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Now admittedly, I didn't recognize it for Brahms, and I didn't recognize the artists while listening; it was surely pleasant and relaxing, sometimes driving and vigorous, and just plain great -- I remember thinking that this is the kind of music that I strive to hear. I was alerted by Ted Sohier after it was over, as to by whom and where it was performed.
The Chamber Music Concert included four women, alumni of The Curtis Institute of Music, performing together for the first time in Pittsburgh, and presented by Chatham University. This concert was held on Sunday, January 11, 2009:
Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor
Tatjana Mead Chamis, Viola - Pittsburgh Symphony Associate Principal
Heather Conner, Piano - Salt Lake City
Jennifer Ross, Violin - Pittsburgh Symphony Principal
Anne Martindale Williams , Cello - Pittsburgh Symphony Principal
Aha, so this was the Brahms that I was enjoying! That same concert.
There were several other pieces presented that evening, and oh, how I wish I had experienced them as well:
Robert Schumann - "Fairy Tales"
Henri Vieuxtemps - Sonata in B flat Major Op.36
Boris Pigovat - "Nigun" for Solo Viola (Pittsburgh Premiere)
Update: I've heard back from a musician of the PSO that there is a proposed cut of funds provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to WQED. This is sad news indeed, if it comes to fruition. In that event I would hope that WQED finds ways to make up for it. I've made suggestions to them every year, with my donation, the kinds of things they do in business. I don't know how much leeway they have, considering they are funded partly by the Federal government (NPR news is one expensive place to cut, I want to hear music, not news). I would be disappointed if whatever cuts mean that we no longer hear PSO music on the radio, that would be devastating. I'll be contacting my state representative to request they reconsider this cut.