The Fourth

photo (11)


My first visit to Los Angeles.

We went to see Brahms’ Fourth Symphony performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The LA Philharmonic won a Grammy for this performance.

We were able to secure tickets for a very reasonable price in a beautiful concert hall. When we found our seats we noticed something funny.  We were sitting behind the orchestra. We loved it, though, because we were able to watch the conductor’s face.  His expression was often animated.

photo (10)


I am amazed by the discipline required of these musicians.  As I sat there I realized that the beauty of attending a performance such as this happens because the musicians have spent untold hours practicing alone.  Then, I’m sure, they rehearse as a large group for many more hours.

And how thoroughly the conductor knows the selection!

This was a fortunate thing because he conducted the last movement without his glasses. I do not believe this was intentional, but that he accidentally took them off when he left the stage in between movements. (Yet another advantage of sitting behind the musicians!)

At least three lessons can be learned from that situation.

1.  Know your music


2. Leave a spare pair of glasses on your music stand


3. Don’t keep leaving in between movements.

As you can imagine Maestro Neeme Jarvi did not ask my opinion and option number one seemed to work quite well for him.

Have you ever sat in a concert and faced the conductor?

Leave a Reply