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.
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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.