The last notes of RH’s ’08 season were sounded just over 5 weeks ago. When I sit back and reflect on the entire summer season, I feel the physical satiation of having taken part in a magnificent feast full of a variety of artists, composers, genres, instruments – tastes, textures and people – and by all audience reports, immensely satisfying. While “digesting” this recent feast, I am hard at work planning another: 2009 will mark RH’s 10th birthday, a cause for much anticipation and excitement in all corners of the organization.

We hope to design a season which reflects RH’s commitment to “Great Music for Busy Lives,” as it relates to our broad and diverse (and busy!) audience throughout the summer. We will continue to offer a weekly respite of culture. We will continue to strive to inspire, amuse and broaden experiences.

Throughout the last month of our ’08 season, we ran a survey of audience favorites from the last 9 years, in which the program with the most audience votes would be repeated during our 10th anniversary season. The winner was the multiple cello program “A Cello Celebration: CSO Cellists and Friends” from our 2007 season. We are already underway planning its “return visit.”

RH’s 10th birthday season opens in June 2009, a long way away by most folks’ yardsticks. We will have several “off-season” events between now and then and I suggest you keep tuned to our website and these e-newsletters for information in the coming months.

And, of course, I’ll be passing on my recommendations for other great concerts in the city each month as part of this column.

October is rich in that regard. Here are three which are sure to inspire and please:

St. James Cathedral’s 2008-2009 Concert Series opens Saturday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. with the performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, op. 86, as well as his Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, op. 19, featuring guest pianist David Korevaar. Bruce J. Barber II conducts the Cathedral Choir and Chamber Orchestra of St. James.

CCM’s second pair of subscription concerts of the season on Sunday, October 26 and Monday, October 27 mix old and new: Brahms’ String Quintet No. 1 is complemented by brass music of Verne Reynolds; Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances will be joined by the North American premiere of Avner Dorman’s Jerusalem Mix, a wind and piano collage of Christian, Jewish and Muslim musical traditions co-commissioned by CCM and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival.

And finally, Fifth House Ensemble opens their 2008-2009 season on Saturday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Gottlieb Hall with Act I of their subscription series based on the ancient Italian comedy tradition, Commedia dell’Arte.

Enjoy a musical October, along with your apple cider and other goodies of the season!


Deborah Sobol

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