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Our Picks

The Concertmaster's Pick: Orchestra Spotlight

A stylized portrait of Erin Keefe, posing with a violin.

Can’t decide on your next concert? Why not take a suggestion from one of our own? From the extraordinary musicians on stage to the staff, volunteers and board members working behind the scenes, we all have personal favorites in the upcoming calendar. That includes Concertmaster Erin Keefe, who is particularly thrilled for the Orchestra Spotlight program taking place November 9-10, which will feature the Orchestra performing without a conductor. Hear from Erin about how the musicians plan to take the lead in this unique program:

“My colleagues and I are really looking forward to these Orchestra Spotlight concerts! While we have performed certain pieces in the past without a conductor such as the Brandenburg Concertos and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, this program will be a much larger undertaking.

“Conductors are essential to large-scale orchestral works such as Mahler symphonies, Strauss tone poems and many works from the 20th and 21st centuries for which there are over a hundred musicians on stage at once. However, there is plenty of repertoire that we are capable of playing without direction from the podium.

“Our wonderful new Music Director Thomas Søndergård suggested the idea of an Orchestra Spotlight series where the musicians of the Orchestra put together an unconducted program, because he wants to encourage the musicians to listen and react more to one another without a central figure dictating each beat and phrase. An orchestra is essentially a large chamber music ensemble, and working together in this way further hones our ears and ensemble skills, demanding that we rely even more on one another for musical and physical cues in communicating phrasing, tempos and articulation.

“While I will be leading several of the pieces from my concertmaster chair, this type of orchestral experience allows all the members of the ensemble the opportunity to be more active participants in the rehearsal process and to join in crafting our collective interpretation of these pieces.

“The program itself is an exciting selection of works highlighting the various sections of the Orchestra, and I’m excited that included in these is one of my absolute favorite string orchestra pieces, the Bartók Divertimento. We hope you enjoy the concert!”

Catch Erin's Pick