If you were among the throng that attended last night's Sealy Fox 8 Holiday Concert it might have crossed your mind to wonder about the conspicuous absense of the Greensboro Symphony's vaunted new conductor, Dmitry Sitskovetsky. It did mine.
When he was no-show last year I was willing to chalk it up to previous committments made before he was named the Greensboro Symphony's Music Director but I was sure that he would make his debut this year and take up the role that made Stuart Malina such a popular, almost beloved figure. But, nyet.
If one were inclined to be cynical (which I often am) one might think that Maestro Dmitry did not want to waste his valuable time getting chummy with the common folk that flock to these things. No, instead he would send the personable and charming Bruce Kiesling to minister to Greensboro's great un-washed. (In case you didn't attend, let me assure you that Bruce is nearly as skilled in schmoozing the crowd as Maestro Malina).
But wait: maybe I'm being too hard on Mr. Sitkovetsky. I've never heard him speak before and it could be that he has one of those impenetrable Russian accents that would have left the good folks from Pleasant Garden and Colfax furrowing their brows with incomprehension: "What'd he say, Erline?" "I'm not sure but I think he said the walls have flour foam dee Nude clapper spit"
Come to think of though, I've never actually laid eyes on Sitkovetsky here in Greensboro. I haven't made it to any of the Greensboro Symphony concerts lately (but what else would you expect from a rube like me?) so I have to trust the word of others that they've actually seen him on the podium. There are pictures of him (or maybe it's just an actor) on the Symphony's website. But, you know, all those billboards around town announcing "The Sitkovetsky Era" only showed a drawing of the Maestro - an artist's conception if you will. If you looked really closely at those billboards, way at the bottom, there in tiny lettering, were these words: This is what our conductor would look like if we actually had one but we kept the money and bought new tubas instead. Those Symphony folks are so clever - much smarter than those of us who attend the Sealy Fox 8 Holiday Concerts.
Concert Notes: I'm sure Neal McNeal is still regretting he implied that there are thousands of Old Dominion trucks on the roads trying to run us down. He may also have regretted saying that soloist Lisa Dames looked like Patsy Cline. She didn't. Speaking of Lisa, I think we could have done with maybe one fewer song from her - my vote would have been for the sappy "Christmas Shoes." Fox 8 personality, Julie Luck, looked very lovely (especially liked the shoes, Julie) but it was her unenviable task to "bring down the mood" with the announcement that cars parked in the Tobacco USA lot were being towed. She did manage to keep Neal McNeal from wandering too far off the schedule and for that we're grateful. The most charming skating moment was the gentleman who hoisted the little girls into awkward lifts and spun them around so carefully (liberal use of the awwwwwww factor). The Choral Society of Greensboro was brilliant, of course.