Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Great programming, no media

IF YOU WERE in the large audience at E.J. Thomas Hall Tuesday night to witness the  program of violinist Hilary Hahn, you might agree with me that it was a remarkable performance by the soloist as well as her powerful piano accompanist, Valentina Lisitsa.   Hahn offered works by Ysaye, Ives, Brahms and Bartok with such firm command of  her instrument - such brilliance and virtuosity! - that it immediately became clear that it would be a very special evening.

It was her second appearance with Tuesday Musical  after a 10-year hiatus.  The first time, as a teenager, she was the  Clara Knight (mother of John S. Knight) artist of Tuesday Musical, an organization that has been offering the very best in classical music programming since its founding more than a century ago.     Since her first visit to  Akron,  Hahn  has risen to the world stage of the great orchestras.  Her  musicianship was honored with the Gramophone Artist of the Year Grammy of 2008. 

Such credentials should have been  enough to draw the attention of  a curious local newspaper. It didn't.  Unfortunately, the playing field for the arts in the Akron area was again shortened. Hard times in the newspaper world or not, it is an  unconscionable lack of respect for a significant quality of the city's  cultural life.  

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