Aug 27 2011

Backstage in Hamburg

Published by at 7:53 pm under PSO 2011 European Tour

I ran into Rolf Beck, the Intendant of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, after the Pittsburgh Symphony’s concert. He was delighted to see Manfred Honeck, who he has known and admired for more than twenty years.

Brahms guards the pretzels and Champagne

Brahms guards the pretzels and Champagne

Brahms guards the pretzels and Champagne

Also on hand for the Saturday concert was Dr. Steven Paul, who works for the North German NDR network which presents three orchestras in the Laeiszhalle. Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock soon takes over the NDR Orchestra. Hamburg is where conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi based his European career. His brother served as Hamburg’s Mayor. Joanne Rogers has been a lifelong friend of Christoph since she studied piano in Florida with his father, the noted composer Ernst von Dohnanyi, best remembered for his Variations on a Nursery Tune for piano and orchestra. Joanne and Fred were there for Christoph’s wedding. I’m digressing.

Steven Paul had been in Pittsburgh working for Sony as Associate Producer when soprano Kathleen Battle recorded Victor Herbert songs with Lorin Maazel. She wasn’t happy with the way they turned out, and refused to give her okay to release them. They sit in the “ice box,” as Paul called it. Steven Paul is a big fan of Manfred Honeck.