Fourth Row – Center with the Philharmonic Orhcestra

11.29.09 – The Day after the Philharmonic Performance

My folks certainly know how to enrich our lives. After a swanky dinner at Asiate, we rushed over to the show which was at the Lincoln Center in New York City. It was a black-tie event. My father purchased some incredible tickets; we were not five rows from the stage. I could see the whites of the conductor’s eyes, and the sweat on the brow of the 1st violinist.

They played two symphonies that evening:

HoneggerSymphony No. 2

BeethovenSymphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’

Riccardo Muti was the conductor, and he looked every inch the part.

The show began when Muti came out to greet the audience, but that was not a sudden event.  The first violinist came out before him and tuned the orchestra to his multi-thousand dollar instrument. Even before that, the Hall was filling up, and the orchestra was walking out onto the stage at random, setting up and fine-tuning their instruments; how casual they were. We kept walking down the hallway to the front, and the suspense grew as the sounds got louder… but I must back up.

Earlier that evening I drank a lot and not enough water. Bourbon is not a before-dinner drink. That being said, my filters were down, and my attempt at accents started to appear at random. By the time we arrived at the Avery Fisher Hall, I stuck with an Eastern European accent. I think I proposed it as Yugoslavian.

Walking into Avery Fischer, I wore my Yugoslavian accent with confidence, along with a houndstooth jacket, white collared shirt, black tie, black pants, cardovan shoes and belt. I was put together, and no one would question it at all. I made my brother smile; I daresay I’m one of the few who can still make him smile so genuinely.

Walking into the Hall, a middle-aged woman reminds me of why the Playbill pamphlet is so important. I heed her advice and continue walking down the aisle. She was amazed to see how far I walked downstage.

I think the walk-in at a music hall like this is very important, if not half as important as the show itself. Your placing and seating reflect how much you care about the music. Walking proudly behind my family, I am smiling ear to ear. We walked past some of the most intellectual (and wealthiest) minds of New York.

Anybody who’s anybody would not miss this kind of elegant performance. Socialites of old and new go to these events as a creme-de-la-creme of their otherwise interesting lifestyles. An old man in a blue cardovan sweather and red collared shirt sat at the end of the row in front of us. He looked like a child, a relic of Golden Americana, an age of dynasty in New York. He was also smiling from ear to ear. I couldn’t help by smile as well in delight over that and the extraordinary performance of the night.

My dad wasn’t kidding around.

Fourth Row