Cafe Witness

Monday, September 15, 2008

Two Ways to Spend a Night in the Dark


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recently issued a call for bloggers to cover this year's season of performances, so I threw my text-based hat in their web-based ring. They took me up on it, and now I'm one of nearly a dozen bloggers who'll be offering "outside perspectives" on various PSO performances over the next 8 months. If you're a fan of classical music (or incongruous and occasionally insightful commentary about it), you can follow the PSO group blog here.

Meanwhile, a case of celestial irony: Shortly after attending the PSO's "sneak preview" concert -- at which new maestro Manfred Honeck was not in attendance -- I posted my first PSO blog entry, entitled "A Night Without Honeck". Suitably amused, the gods then caused a wayward tree branch to collapse on some electrical lines in my Greenfield neighborhood, resulting in A Night Without Power for me and about 30 of my neighbors. (Since Duquesne Light is still swamped with reports of outages, we're not expecting ours to get fixed anytime soon.)

As a result, four of my neighbors gathered on their shared stoop last night and listened to the end of the Steelers-Browns game by candlelight, on a battery-powered radio. I couldn't quite hear the details from my open window, so I wandered down and listened to the closing moments with them. Funny that it takes an act of nature (and NFL scheduling) to force people who live less than ten feet apart to actually make the effort to introduce themselves.

Lastly, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an interesting profile about the hard-fought rise of Maestro Honeck, who -- since he wasn't the apprentice to an established conductor -- decided to become one by starting his own orchestra. Talk about innovating your way to success...

Photo by Sriram

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