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Daniela Liebman with FSO

Daniela Liebman performs with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Liebman is a 17-year-old pianist who made her Carnegie Hall debut at age 11. 

The first Flagstaff Symphony concert Friday, Sept. 27, was a triumph, a tremendous triumph.

I mean, I've been attending the symphony concerts for 17 years but this concert was something very special. We had the 17-year-old Daniela Liebman playing Chopin's Piano Concerto #2. Not only is this concerto my very favorite of all piano concertos, but Daniela brought a special beauty and power to it. I was stunned. She played another powerful beautiful piece for an encore. We were standing before she finished.

Then, after the intermission, the symphony played Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. I still had that theme in my head the next day. Our symphony is incredibly talented, and I feel so lucky to have it here in Flagstaff and to hear these masters from 150-200 years ago.

After the concert I went to a local restaurant as is my wont and was sitting at the bar with my girlfriend when the director Charles Latshaw showed up with many of the symphony musicians. I went over to where they were sitting and made a toast to their first night triumph. They heartily joined in. Then, to my surprise Daniela appeared and I got to shake her hand and talk to her. She made her Carnegie Hall debut when she was 11.

Thank you Flagstaff for this enrichment to my life. I'll never forget this night. The symphony provides a moment of respite and deep inner beauty from the chaos of our world. The symphony runs real deep to the soul-need that we otherwise wouldn't get in our daily lives.

Sincerely, 

BOB BOWSER

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