If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting … Twelfth Night

Stuffed. Fed to the gills and licking our chops. Friday night was the MSO‘s bash at a pops program with Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, the K.466 – where British conductor Howard Shelley also got to ply his pianist skills – Mendelssohn’s Capriccio brilliant and Haydn’s crowd-pleasing Miracle Symphony.


We went as guests of a friend, and going up to the balcony we bumped into a fellow morning yogist who was with her friend, who turned out to be the conductor’s wife. I watched his two daughters raptly watching their father conduct. Update: I was mistaken. My yogist friend informs me that the girls were her daughter Yanti and friend. Sorry! #ends And I happened to sit next to a lovely fellow who enlightened me somewhat about the finances of the MSO. For instance, the splendid piano with the peculiar perspex lid was a new Hamburg Steinway and cost $250,000 (which just about buys you a Porsche 911 Carrerra), and that the MSO costs $24 million to run every year. Alas, ticket sales generate barely enough to buy sushi for the orchestra. It’s down to our tax penny and those nice corporate sponsors.

Some MSO players:



Shelley’s daughter My friend’s daughter watching Shelley conduct:


Shelley plays Mozart on a very Porsche piano with a perspex windshield. (He explained it was so he could conduct through it, but would serve well for deflecting rotten eggs. Shelley had his back to us so it was hard to see if his facial expressions were as amusing as Ivan Klansky‘s):


A cellist double-bassist:


His conductorship:

shelley -conducts


On Sunday the Gloriana chamber choir treated a lucky crowd to a performance of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium, for forty singers. (Previous Gloriana attendance here and here.) Spem in alium, “Hope in no other,” is considered one of the great choral compoisitions and Gloriana performed it in the round, encircling the audience. Alas, attendance overflowed and we were late and sat right up against the back wall of the church, serve us right. In any case, it sounded tremendous.


Here the singers, with backs to us, facing into the chapel, conductor Andrew Raiskums flashing his baton.



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