Columbus is so cool. I work with people from all over the country and they are often surprised at how much we have going on in Columbus. I am still reminded of the conversation I had with an editor from Consulting Magazine who swung through Columbus to meet with me on his way from Chicago back to New York where they are headquartered. We met on campus at OSU and he was shocked. He said this place is like a city! He was very impressed with how we, in the great untamed wilderness of the midlands, were getting along!
This is a similar story. I should have posted it earlier, but happily my clients are absorbing so much of my time lately that sometimes these things wait. Columbus had an amazing arts event this past weekend at ProMusica. Vadim Gluzman was the guest leader of ProMusica and the experience he created was nothing short of astounding.
So who is Vadim Gluzman? He’s an Israeli violinist that plays with some good groups. And by good groups, I mean world class: in North America, the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; in Europe, the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Munich, Dresden and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Finnish Radio Symphony; in Israel, the Israel Philharmonic and Jerusalem Symphony, and in Asia, the NHK and KBS Orchestras.
You could tell just by the way he appeared on stage that this would be a different experience. Although he led our chamber orchestra, he did not stand front and center with his back to the audience like you would expect of a conductor. He sat in the first chair position with the rest of the violins, slightly elevated so that the rest of the orchestra could see him. Before the performance he also approached the orchestra differently; inviting them to help him create an event that was uniquely in the moment. It’s the difference between being asked by the conductor to “play it this way when I raise my baton” and asking the musicians to “play it the way you feel it.” I’m sure this is an over simplification, but it captures the essence of why the artists enjoyed working with Vadim so much. This staging and his approach to working with the rest of the artists produced a result that was spine tingling effective.
Also satisfying was Vadim’s apparent enjoyment of the process and result. For some reason it doesn’t surprise me that our wonderful little orchestra would enjoy working with Vadim, whose reputation precedes him. But I find it gratifying that he also found the interaction special. He said, in effect, that the culture that exists in ProMusica is special. Unique, in fact, in his experience with many venues and orchestras. The working relationship between the artists, the leadership and the board is very strong and positive.
I’ve said it before, but if you haven’t been to ProMusica recently, you should come and give it a try. Great things are coming out of this organization.Author’s note: The “Coolumbus” tag within my blog is a response to the fact that I don’t see enough about our great city and its many cool things. So ridicule if you will, this is just my idea of what’s cool in Columbus or “Coolumbus”. Click here to read other Coolumbus posts.