We have sad news to start this month’s newsletter. Last week, we learned of the passing of Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard, our Music Director for 14 years. Maestro Leppard was an important and beloved part of our family.
Those of us who had the privilege to work with Raymond continue to honor him in our approach to music and teaching. He loved and respected this orchestra, its musicians, and the city of Indianapolis. We are proud to have known him and will mourn the loss of our great friend.
Have you ever heard classical music spilling down Mass Ave on a Tuesday night? This month we are highlighting a special partnership with The Chatterbox jazz club and Classical Music Indy:
As 8 p.m. approaches on the first Tuesday of every month, casually clad figures with instruments in tow begin to file into the cozy confines of the iconic Mass Ave jazz club, The Chatterbox, for Classical Revolution Tuesday!
Classical Revolution is a national movement, founded in San Francisco in 2006 by Charith Premawardhana, with the goal of inviting musicians of all skill levels to present classical music in casual, nontraditional spaces.
Classical Revolution Indianapolis, a chapter of the international Classical Revolution, hosts musicians from a variety of sources: the Indianapolis Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the freelance community. These musicians gather in small chamber ensembles to read standard repertoire or try out new works. Strings, winds, brass, and percussion all have taken the club’s small stage.
Enjoying a beverage while talking with colleagues, Chatterbox regulars, and those who just happen across the Chatterbox while visiting our city helps us strengthen bonds with the community, reaching those who might not find classical music otherwise.
Retired ISO cellist Anne McCafferty has served as the organizer of Classical Revolution Indianapolis nearly since its formation in 2011.
“For musicians accustomed to reaching for perfection in a concert hall, Classical Revolution offers a nonjudgmental environment for experimentation, including mistakes, that really connects us to our audience,” says McCafferty. “The idea is to communicate, not impress. For the listener, the expectation of a classical musician is put aside as they see us in our jeans, playing music we love and have a passion for. It’s up close and personal.”
For Chatterbox owner David Andrichik, the addition of a monthly classical chamber music jam that brings in a diverse crowd has further expanded his vision of inclusivity at his club.
“I was certainly intrigued and hoped it would create a new audience and generate weeknight business for my jazz club. Over the years my expectations have been far exceeded! Wonderful music, wonderful musicians, and wonderful new friends!” says Andrichik.
A tip jar gets passed around all night, and the Chatterbox adds a small stipend to help raise money for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, the New World Youth Orchestras, the Distressed Musicians Fund of the American Federation of Musicians Local 3, and Classical Music Indy, which provides promotional support for Classical Revolution Indianapolis.
The next edition of Classical Revolution Indianapolis is at 8 p.m. on November 5 at the Chatterbox Jazz Club, located at 435 Massachusetts Ave. We hope to see you there!
This November, we are also looking forward to a few exciting shows before we transition into Yuletide mode at the end of the month.
On November 1 and 2, the Pops Series will feature soloists from the orchestra in Cinematic Symphony: A Spotlight on ISO Musicians. The show will feature solos by ISO musicians Conrad Jones, Mark Ortwein, Riley Giampaolo, Jennifer Christen, Roger Roe, Philip Palermo, Anthony Kniffen, Austin Huntington, Blake Schlabach, Karen Moratz, Sherry Hong, and Yu Jin. Needless to say, we are extremely excited for this show!
The week after, we will be “shining a light” on downtown, as we perform with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Music Director Krzysztof Urbanski. Note that the time of the November 9 performance has been changed to accommodate the premiere of Shining a Light, a multimedia project on Monument Circle featuring music recorded by the ISO!
Our final classical performances of 2019 happen the next week, November 14-16, as the orchestra takes on Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Third Symphony. Weinberg was a friend of Shostakovich and was similarly harassed by the Soviet government, eventually ending up arrested and nearly executed, saved potentially only by the death of Stalin shortly after his arrest. We are thrilled to bring this relatively underplayed piece to our audience!
And after all that, we will see you for the start of IPL Yuletide Celebration on November 30. We hope to see you this November, and Happy Thanksgiving!