A conversation with Cathy Basrak, Assistant Principal Viola, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Principal Viola, Boston Pops Orchestra / Anne Stoneman chair, endowed in perpetuity

February 4, 2016

Every young musician wants the opportunity to perform and share stories.cathy basrak

My memory of the Hess goes back to my high school years, in the 90’s. The thing that stood out most to me then was the space. I had grown up in the suburbs of Chicago and didn’t know that kind of performance space existed for live radio.  When I was introduced to the space and the grandeur of the area, it was quite a lovely surprise. [Preston Bradley Hall] provided such a great acoustic setting!

I think back to what it felt like to be a young musician determined to make it in the field. Every young musician wants the opportunity to perform and share stories. WFMT has always been such a huge proponent of rising stars. I had a lot of friends who had performed on the Hess, and it was surreal to then be one of those myself.  Read full story ...

Renowned cellist Amit Peled spoke with the International Music Foundation on April 25, 2015

April 29, 2015

amit He shared some wonderful stories about his experience with the Hess series and the thrill of playing Pablo Casals’ Gofriller cello.

What is so beautiful about my experience with the Hess series is that through the series I grew up both as a cellist and as a human being. For quite a while, once a year, I had this legendary experience.  I was very young and inexperienced when I began, and the pieces that I played became bigger, harder and more ambitious. I also began to attract a regular crowd--that was really amazing.     

Now, as a teacher I’ve already had two students who have also had this experience.   That’s an amazing feeling, to start another journey for these young people.     

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~a story by Oscar Crawford, audience member, Dame Myra Hess Concerts

February 19, 2015

It was as if she simply waved her hands above the keyboard and the piano spoke.

Well, it began--let’s see around 1940, when I first started studying the piano and listened to recordings by Dame Myra Hess—though at that time, she was just Myra Hess—on the local Youngstown Ohio radio station. She was an inspiration from the very first time I heard her.

Then, the war finally ended, and Dame Myra Hess –she was a Dame now—came to the US and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra.    We all gathered in my piano teacher’s studio to listen to a program which included Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto. The audience in Philadelphia must have been phenomenal—they gave her a standing ovation before the performance and as we all listened enrapt I thought: “I must hear her!” 

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