I recently heard a stunning concert by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of their departing conductor Michael Tilson Thomas at the Lied Center. Earlier this season, I heard the Mariinsky Orchestra from St. Petersburg, Russia under the direction of Valery Gergiev at the Lied.
In past years, I've attended concerts by the BBC Concert Orchestra from London, the Russian National Orchestra, orchestras from Cleveland and Chicago, the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ricardo Muti as well as several concerts by the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin. All of these programs played to full, often packed, houses.
My question is this: where the hell are all you people at Lincoln Symphony Orchestra concerts? Over the years, I've heard our fine symphony, a group far better than one would expect to hear in a city our size, traverse the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms, among others.
Since their move to the Lied, the LSO has continued to grow continuously artistically and musically. They are the jewel in Lincoln's cultural crown and deserve our community's fuller support.
I'll admit to a certain bias, as I've known conductor Edward Polochick since he was a college freshman and its executive director sang in my choir at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Moreover, several of the players are former UNL students who accompanied our Oratorio Chorus, and even more are former colleagues of mine.
I realize the big-name orchestras draw folks from farther afield, but they, too, should augment us local folks in supporting this wonderful musical treasure by attending. The LSO does yeoman's duty in educational outreach programs, and its collaborations with the Lincoln Youth Symphony are highlights of each season.
Tickets are very reasonably priced. It's rare that you get such bang for your buck in this town. Show some pride, people!
Jim Hejduk, Lincoln