They’re in town. Once more The Cleveland Orchestra has begun its yearly Miami residency. By now, the orchestra is woven into the fabric of cultural life in our city. But no complacency. A new managing director, Bruce Coppock, has been talking to our community to better understand the curious phenom that is Miami and make changes in the project. What? He has not talked to you? No problem. This is the most democratic of media — as long as democracy includes Internet access. Let him, us, know what you think, right here in our Comments.
What should the Cleveland Orchestra be about in its Miami residency? What? You don’t think there should be a Miami residency? Tell him, us, that then.
Some concertgoers have told me they want the full Monty. Meaning the orchestra and Franz (Welser-Möst) too. This weekend you got him, conducting the orchestra. Others, myself included, think we should hear the orchestra playing new music, like they do back home. We got that too, with a composition by Sean Shepherd, who’s in town for the occasion. And, of course, there’s Brahms — easy on the listeners who crave the canon, hard as hell on the musicians, who have to stretch, quite literally, to perform him. And Shostakovich, that passionate modern.
Speaking of passion, principal guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero has been around too. At the University of Miami Frost School of Music he sat in with the students and passed on what he’s learned, including the need to keep learning, to always ask questions no matter how basic. “What I need is to go to Little Havana to play dominos,” said Guerrero, an addict of the game.
So stay with us. We will be talking to Shepherd. Always a privilege to chat up a composer in a genre where, let’s face it, most of the music was written by guys who are, like, dead. And we’ll be going to the concert. They’re off.