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I am so lucky – as are you if you’re reading this and not unconscious with a tube down your gullet!  But my luck stems from a small park that has been carefully cultivated and is just 100 yards from my back door.  Every day, sometimes twice a day if the weather’s fine, I lace up my walking shoes and head to the path that winds through the little park.  There’s a tiny creek there, lots of trees shading the path and a rotating cast of ducks, egrets and an as-yet unidentified wader who grace the creek.  Up above, there’s at least one owl and one red-shouldered hawk in the cypress trees who entertain and make the unwary miss a step or two.  The neighbors bring their dogs out to walk in the park, and the dogs smile at me and sometimes say hello.

I’ve found that besides my strolls, this time of peace and enjoyment of the park also gives me a chance to reflect on any number of important issues:  how to cope with social isolation, the solution to a workable vaccine, the inequality in which the poor survive, solving world peace issues, are there enough leftovers for dinner tonight.  But sometimes I think about my friends and how much I miss enjoying a glass of wine and some good conversation.  And I miss my concerts.  Watching artists perform on YouTube is just not quite the same.

I miss my concerts.  Watching artists perform on YouTube is just not quite the same.

I didn’t know how fortunate we were this past season at SACMS to have at least been able to enjoy four concerts.  Sometimes as I walk, I can dream about the ethereal music of VOCES8.  Do you remember that beautiful sound?  I will never forget it.  And our first concert of the season, Apollo’s Fire with their orchestral sound, their variety, their consummate blending of instruments that brought the audience to their feet.  We were so lucky to be able to enjoy the Ariel String Quartet with the maestro of clarinet, Ilya Shterenberg.  Their intensity – and especially their rendering of the achingly sad Shostakovich No. 8 will resonate in my memory – it could have been written in the present day.  Do you remember the Akropolis Reed Quintet?  I do.  I think of “For All We Know” performed by the mellow reeds.  That, too, is so apt for today.  So we didn’t get to enjoy the Parker String Quartet; coronavirus intervened, as it has in so many things we enjoy.  But SACMS has arranged a postponed concert by the Parker (see below).

There is a very rich concert schedule coming up, and I hope you’ll join us…

There is a very rich concert schedule coming up, and I hope you’ll join us to enjoy Quatuor AROD (October 4), a young, dazzling Paris-based string quartet;  the “flat-out amazing”  Kenari  Saxophone Quartet (November 15),  whose range and virtuosity transform the perception of the saxophone;  the Aizuri String Quartet (January 31, 2021), a multiple prize winning ensemble of four ladies who will help us celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with a program of all-female composers;   Sharon Isbin, guitar, and Jessica Rivera, soprano (February 28, 2021), two stellar Grammy-award winners whose luminous sound will evoke the rich and magnificent tradition of Spain;  the Parker String Quartet (April 11, 2021), another Grammy Award-winning ensemble, known as one of the pre-eminent string quartets of their generation;  and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (April 25, 2021), six musicians from the venerable CMSLC  will mesmerize with a program titled “The Brahms Effect”.

I wish you long walks on refreshing paths, contemplation of all that is important and enjoyment of soul-enriching music.  Stay well and I hope to see you all soon.

– E Doyle