What a thrill on my first full day in Boston to receive an invitation to attend the Boston Philharmonic's first concert of the season from their conductor, Benjamin Zander. All of the Abreu Fellows were extended this wonderful opportunity to hear Dvorak's Symphony No. 7 and Brahms Violin Concerto performed by Feng Ning, an incredibly talented young Chinese violinist. Conductor Zander provided a pre-concert lecture, bringing the composers and their music to life through stories, analogy and humor. I particularly appreciated his analogy comparing rubato to a drive through the Swiss Alps, stopping or slowing in some places, while speeding along in others. His enthusiasm was contagious, as evident by the passion in which each member of the orchestra played. It was an honor to attend the concert and meet Mr. Zander, as well as many of the other Abreu Fellows (see photos).
Ben Zander and his wife, Rosamund, wrote the book, The Art of Possibility, which I had the pleasure of reading this past summer. In the book, they share ideas to help open their readers to the world of possibilities. Watching Mr. Zander and the members of the Boston Philharmonic interact made visible many of the principles laid out in the book, including Leading from Any Chair, Giving Way to Passion and Lighting a Spark. Thank you, Benjamin Zander, the Boston Philharmonic, Dean Churchill and the New England Conservatory for such a warm welcome to Boston!