Orin O'Brien was the first woman hired to perform full-time with the New York Philharmonic. Watching Leonard Bernstein conduct was certainly exciting for the audience, but this double bassist says it was exhilarating and terrifying to face the conductor as a member of his orchestra. O'Brien calls working with Bernstein "one of the best experiences of my professional life."
It sounds like the set-up for a great punch line. Three composers walk into a restaurant: Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Michael Tilson Thomas. The first course is challenging musical trivia. The next course involves clanging spoons and glasses. Michael Tilson Thomas describes a memorable dinner with two other American composers.
Violinist Maria Ioudenitch is Performance Today's Young Artist in Residence. Maria joins Fred Child in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Maria Ioudenitch and hear her perform music by Tchaikovsky, Clara Schumann, Sarasate, and more.
Mei-Ann Chen is one of the very few female conductors leading an American orchestra. She has helped to establish the Chicago Sinfonietta as the the nation's most diverse orchestra. Performance Today host Fred Child sat down with Mei-Ann Chen to learn how this once-shy violinist became a cutting-edge leader.