© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Classical 101

Give the Gift of Live Music

Greater Columbus Arts Council
Columbus' Arts Scene is Exciting and Diverse

No matter how you celebrate, this is a season of giving. Gifts of time, talent, friendship, as well as gifts purchased or made.

Inevitably, the conversation comes around to making suggestions of gifts for your favorite music/arts lover. Do they really need another CD, download, sweater, or backscratcher?

My suggestion this season is to get them something they might not get themselves. Live performance is more than just going to hear some music, see some dance, or take in a play. Live performance is about the experience as much as the content.

Here's an example from my personal experience. Vivaldi's Four Seasons is one of classical music's most familiar works. It is also one of the most amazing masterpieces in the world of music...bar none. So when ProMusica Chamber Orchestra scheduled that piece of music to be played with their Creative Partner and Principal Guest Artist Vadim Gluzman, I was stoked. He is a musician mentioned in the same breath as Perlman. I knew it would be an amazing evening, but I was not prepared for what I experienced.

There was a buzz in the hall when we arrived. The anticipation built throughout the concert until, finally, here come the opening phrases of Spring. As the performance progressed, each movement was like unwrapping a gift. The amazing thing was that, even though you KNEW what was in the next box, when the lid was taken off, you realized you didn't REALLY know what was inside.

What made the evening so special was more than just the music. Experiencing the Four Season with the audience AND the performers was something that simply cannot be recorded.

This same opportunity is offered by all of Columbus' arts organizations. The Columbus Symphony, BalletMet, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Columbus, Columbus Dance Theatre, CATCO, Opera Columbus, City Music Columbus, The Wexner Center, Columbus Museum of Art, all of these organizations and the many I have not listed offer an opportunity to EXPERIENCE the arts.

Byron Stripling, Artistic Director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, said it very well when he spoke of his first time performing in Columbus in a commentary he wrote for the Columbus Dispatch a few months ago.

"...a packed house full of raving fans continuously nudged the band and myself to higher heights with thunderous applause and numerous standing ovations. That night was a joyous epiphany, demonstrating the power of art to uplift a community."

When an audience and the performers are riding that wave together, magical experiences happen.

What I am suggesting is that, instead of something that will gather dust, wear out, or make your clothes too tight, maybe you give someone an opportunity to have the same experience I did...one that they will talk about for many years to come. Perhaps it's concert tickets, maybe it's a membership to someplace they can experience over and over again.

For me, I will NEVER hear the Four Seasons the same way again. I wish you and yours the same opportunity.

Below, Vadim Gluzman plays Prokofiev with the Berlin Philharmonic.