PLEASE NOTE that THOUGHTS ON A TRAIN has now MOVED to http://dickstrawser.blogspot.com...
On Wednesday, I posted about the British magazine Gramophone’s “Top-20 Orchestras in the World” and forgot to mention, in a subsequent post prompted by complaints in San Francisco that too much public money was being spent to support the city’s orchestra, that the San Francisco Symphony had placed 13th on that list, just below the East Coast Regulars from New York and Boston. (You can also read reactions from London and NPR.)
Then today, at ArtsJournal, I saw I should also update that reference to Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony, who’s received another significant accolade on another kind of list – this one, a list of the “Best Leaders of 2008” where he is the only musician among a wide variety of public leaders, some business, some political, some in science along with Steven Spielberg and Lance Armstrong and junior officers in the U.S. Military who “are rising in the military ranks with a hard-earned wisdom forged by war,” all inspiring and thought-provoking. Citing President-Elect Obama, these are people who could “help him lead us out of our doldrums.”
Caution, though: this report uses the “M” Word. They refer to Michael Tilson Thomas (usually abbreviated as MTT) as “a musical maverick.”
Speaking of mavericks, that maverick Sarah Palin ;-) ;-) is still in the news, pardoning a turkey in Alaska (not a recently defeated felon and long-term Senator). While you can watch the YouTube video, notice the guy in the background who it turns out is butchering two other turkeys during the filming of this press conference. Niiiiiiiice...
By the way, how would you like to be interrupted at the end of a presentation to be told you’ve just won $75,000? That’s how violinist Gil Shaham found out about his winning the Avery Fisher Award, finishing up a televised recital. Read it here.
Oh, and it’s started snowing again.