Posts Tagged ‘George Del Gobbo’

CSO Beethoven Opener was a Winner

September 19, 2016
George Del Gobbo, Music Director and Conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

George Del Gobbo, Music Director and Conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

To me, the litmus test for a symphony orchestra is how well it masters the classical music master Beethoven. Saturday night the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, in my view, definitely mastered the master.

It didn’t hurt that it had a world-class concert pianist to dazzle us. Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel’s rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 was…well… breathtaking. I didn’t know anyone could  move their fingers that  fast.  Judging from the standing ovation he got, I would say that the audience was transported.  I know I was .

Once, when rehearsing the Bob Barr Community Band, retired legendary public school music educator George Corridino, not pleased with the way the band was playing the Sousa classic Stars and Stripes Forever, told the band that it simply could not get  away with not playing that song well. “Everybody in the world knows that song! They’ll know you’re not playing it right.”  When it comes to Beethoven, it’s probably Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67.  That’s the one that its first four notes have the same rhythm as the Morse code’s “V.” The British used it to stand for “victory” during World War II. I remember that. I was 14 when World War II ended.  To put it mildly, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra nailed it.

It was really good to hear CSO Executive Director Cameron Bean announce before the concert that there were 200 middle school students in the balcony. Leter, he told me a sponsor made that possible. It’s really important to expose young people to the sound of a live full symphony orchestra.  I was 15 when I first heard one. The Three Arts League brought the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra to Columbus.  A wealthy Columbus lady bought tickets for all members of  the Jordan and Columbus High bands. We sat on the first and second rows.  I have loved live symphonic music from that moment on.

The Case for the Arts made By George Del Gobbo

January 22, 2013

Columbus Symphony conductor George Del Gobbo listed the reasons that “the arts” are so important for a community’s well-being when speaking to the Rotary Club of Columbus.  He got specific and told how they are benefiting Columbus. It’s gratifying to note that he didn’t confine the reasons to economic benefits. In fact, he led his list of seven reasons the arts should be supported with  how they affect our humanity.

He said the arts help us express our values, help us heal when we are difficulty, allow us to express “the essence of what it is to be human. When you hear a symphony by Beethoven, look at a statue by Michelangelo, or a painting by Van Gogh, or read a sentence by Shakespeare, you are being touched, you are communicating with the most sublime human spirits who ever lived.”

He went on to tell us how arts build stronger communities, lead to more social cohesion, increased child welfare, and lower poverty rates. “A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not to be raised in a pop culture or a tabloid market place.”

The arts even improve your health. They have healing benefits, resulting in “shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.”

They help prepare the workforce. “We are told that creativity is among the top skills sought out by employers.’

“The arts lead to improved academic performance in the schools. Numerous studies have shown that students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower dropout rates, and even better attitudes about community service.” However, he goes on to say, Rand Corporation research shows that  the arts have been systematically cut from the public school curriculum.”

See what happens when you elect a bunch of dumb-ass Neanderthals to school boards. He didn’t say that. I did.

He did get around to the economic benefits of a “creative industry.”

Dun and Bradstreet reported in 2011 that almost 800,000 businesses in the United States were involved in the creation or distribution of arts. In Columbus “the Arts and Culture industry supports over 1000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs. ” They generate a payroll of more than 13 million dollars. The arts community in Columbus has an economic impact of over 50 million dollars per year.

Finally, he points out that the arts are good for tourism. They are ideal tourists, staying longer, spending more.

He makes a very strong case for the positive effects of practicing and being exposed to the arts. He didn’t have to sell me. My life has been enriched by the arts for a very long time, and we are so fortunate to have a vibrant arts culture in Columbus.  The opportunity to attend numerous outstanding live musical and theatrical events, as well as outstanding museums, is here.

However, one has to  be exposed to the arts to learn to appreciate them.   Communities with schools that provide early exposure so that all children, not just those who are fortunate enough to be born to arts-loving parents, are on the right track.

A Big Night for the Columbus Symphony

April 23, 2012

Congratulations to George Del Gobbo, who was honored Saturday evening with a proclamation by Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson for his dedicated service in leading the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for twenty-five years.  The proclamation presented by City Manager Isaiah Hugley prior to the symphony’s  sensational concert.

The audience was blown away by the stunningly impressive performance  by 29-year-old violinist Tai Murray.  She played the extremely difficult and exciting Shostakovich Violin Concerto, Op. 99.  The standing  ovation that followed was loud and long. Not only was she in top form, the orchestra had never sounded better to me.

Columbus is truly fortunate to such a fine symphony orchestra, the second oldest in the country, founded in 1855. The New York Philharmonic was the first.  The CSO went dormant during the Civil War, and World War I and II, but was reborn in 1949 under the baton of Robert M. Barr. Harry Kruger followed Barr and Del Gobbo followed Kruger.

Not only does this year mark Del Gobbo’s 25th anniversary of leading the orchestra, it is also the tenth year of the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. Delo Gobbo writes in this season’s program guide, “This remarkable building is certainly a treasured jewel in the crown of the city.” Indeed!

What was truly encouraging was the impressive number of young people attending the concert. They have to be exposed to the world’s most beautiful music in order for symphonic music to survive. To me, there is still nothing musically that matches the  sound of a live symphony orchestra.  Even with today’s marvelous recording technology, live still is best, especially in  a hall with the acoustics of the Bill Heard Theater.  Internationally acclaimed artists that perform there rave over the “beautiful hall with its remarkable accoustics.”