Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Music Man...

Erich Kunzel, the Cincinnati Pops Conductor, died Tuesday at age 74. I'm not a pops fan, but as a music lover I was sad to hear this news. Kunzel loved music, and as Cincinnati Pops Conductor, over the years, he introduced untold numbers of people, here and abroad, to orchestra music. Janelle Gelfand, music critic for the Cincinnati Enquirer, said in an interview/tribute on NPR that Kunzel was a splashy conductor, and as an example mentioned that in his annual Halloween concert he not only had the musicians dress in costume, but he made his entrance as conductor in a coffin; and of course, real cannons were de rigueur whenever the orchestra played Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture. I love that outrageous enthusiasm, but I also love that people's musical horizons were expanded by Kunzel. In a world where silence is an increasingly rare thing, where every trip to the grocery store, every dinner at a restaurant, every stop at a gas station to refill the car is punctuated by bad piped music blasted on tinny speakers, I'm reminded how much I love good music...and Erich Kunzel made lots of good music.

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