Music has always been a major factor in my life. Music healed and calmed my soul and being. It all ended in 2008 - the symphony and concerts were no longer affordable."Drove my Chevy to the levy and the levy was dry, the day the music died."
My mother took my brother and me to the symphony often. We got to meet Arthur Fiedler and many other famous musicians. She was a renowned pianist and child prodigy, playing with the Boston Symphony at the age of 14.
She studied with my uncle - Heinrich Gebhard, German immigrant who became one of America's most important 20th-century pianists and music educators. He was born in Sovernheim in the Rhineland; he came to the United States as a boy and studied under Clayton Johns of Boston. He went to Vienna at the age of 17 to study piano under Leschetizky, and harmony, counterpoint and composition with Richard Heuberger.
Between 1901 and 1935 Gebhard was a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He gave a command performance at the White House for President Theodore Roosevelt. He also worked with the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland and St. Louis during that period.
Mr. Gebhard introduced more first performances than any other artist. He introduced such works as Loeffler's "Pagan Poem" in 1907, Frederick Converse's tone poem "Night and Day" in 1905, and Arthur Shepherd's Fantasy" in 1921. All were introduced in Boston. His original compositions included orchestral waltzes, chamber music and piano pieces, including "Fantasy" and "Divertissements". I treasure a book, click "The Art of Peddling" that he authored, and it has an introduction by Leonard Bernstein - one of his most famous students.
Growing up, I attended the Boston Symphony as often as I could. I sort of skipped the 50's "mares eat oats and does eat oats" era, but regained my interest in music when I was introduced to Rock in the late-60s. Here I saw amazing talent and musicianship as well as excitement.
I was fortunate to attend many concerts at Winterland in San Fransisco, where I saw many groups, some already famous, some destined for fame - ELO, Jefferson Starship, Santana, Pink Floyd among them. At first, there was a heavy and uncomfortable police presence at Winterland. Then Bill Graham took over security and everything changed for the better. I created a Bill Graham tribute website http://acgwebs.net/webs2-3/BillG/home.html. It contains a heartfelt memorial video by Ari Gold, the son of Melissa Gold - Bill Graham's girlfriend. I plan to add to the site from time to time, and eventually make it standalone.
From after I married Ally in 2005, until the end of 2008, the majority of my time was spent with work. Attending a concert several times a year was our main form of relaxation and entertainment. Fortunately she grew to love the music that I introduced her to as much as I. Our favorites were The Eagles, Bob Seger, Journey, Steve Miller, Joe Cocker, and Fleetwood Mac. I cannot tell you how very much we miss this music in our lives!
I cannot put into words how much my soul suffers for no longer being able to attend live concerts.