Its good to be back home. When flying into SeaTac Airport, I always find the seemingly omnipresent gray clouds that blanket the region comforting. Some news worth mentioning.
Asher Fisch has been named the Seattle Opera's Principal Guest Conductor. Fisch has made his mark in Seattle with stunning performances of Wagner's operas. He has been embraced by musicians and Seattle audiences alike. I don't go to the opera often, but I can still hear and recall the wonderful Lohengrin he conducted back in 2004. Fisch, an Israeli, who studied with Barenboim, shares a similar unease over the unofficial ban on Wagner's music in Israel. He explained in an interview with the Seattle Times back in 2004:
"I feel the boycott is taken out of context...Supposedly if you're a patriot [in Israel] you don't like Wagner; if it is played, you walk out and protest. But it's interesting that the boycott of Wagner isn't something that makes most people suffer. It is symbolic. You can't have Wagner, but you can have German theatrical productions, German goods, German cars. What about the Volkswagen, which Hitler promoted as the 'people's car'? You don't see boycotts on those things."
It also looks like the Seattle Symphony is having a pretty easy time raising money these days. You might remember earlier this year, the Symphony reported additional fundraising of $2.5 million. Raised over the course of six weeks, this money helped balance the 06-07 budget. Well, they're at it again, this time raising $500,000 as part of the Guest Artist Circle Kick Off Party.
Finally, this taken from the University of Washington Bookstore website:
Tuesday • October 23 • 7pm
The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
Discussion & Book Signing
University District Store
Alex Ross—classical music critic for the New Yorker—has written a book that makes even the most sedate composers life worth reading. (And keep in mind, the lives of many a composer was anything but sedate—ask Shostakovich.) He also does his usual exemplary job of describing their music in an enlightening but completely accessible way.
The book has been popping up on Seattle shelves over the last week or so (before the release date). As a matter of fact, in my regular perusal of the music section of a certain bookstore, I was shocked to see it, sitting on the shelf, whispering "buy me." If you don't do so already you should read Ross' blog. If he's lucky, Seattle might just squeeze out one last partly sunny, dry day (NOAA says mostly cloudy with no rain) before winter grabs us for good.