Monday, April 28, 2008

Hey! We're Famous! Waltham Symphony Orchestra Take A Bow!

Yes, we're bloggers and we think blogs are great. But we sure love being written up in the real live press, by real live journalists, those guys and gals who have ink on their fingers, so thanks guys.

My favorite orchestra, the new Waltham Symphony Orchestra, where I'm a board member and great promoter, was written up today in The Waltham Daily News Tribune.
Conductor Is Playing A New Tune
by Jeff Gilbride

Patrick Botti wants his new symphony orchestra to reflect the rich cultural diversity found in Waltham.

So, as music director for the new Waltham Symphony Orchestra, Botti has grand plans to work with a Cambodian composer, incorporate Indian classical music and even jam with a rock band.

"It's basically taking a symphony orchestra out of an entrenched position and opening it up to the world," Botti said.

All of this won't happen overnight, but Botti said the foundation is in place for an orchestra that can break the mold of the traditional community orchestra.

That's the future.

For now, the Waltham Symphony Orchestra is getting ready to hold its inaugural concert at the Kennedy Middle School on May 10 at 8 p.m. The concert will feature works by composers Mozart, Brahms, Ravel, d'Indy and Daniel-Lesur.

To celebrate Mother's Day, admission to the concert will be free to mothers and grandmothers. Botti said the Waltham Symphony Orchestra is made up of some 50 musicians, many of whom are current or former city residents.

Botti served as conductor of the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra from May to December of 2007. He said that orchestra serves a valuable role in the community, giving amateur musicians a musical outlet. However, Botti said he sought to develop an orchestra geared more toward professional musicians.

Botti said he also wanted to work more closely with area colleges and universities. Botti said the Waltham Symphony Orchestra will also offer local high school students the chance to perform alongside its professional players, and offer scholarships to those aspiring musicians so they can receive the proper training.

Botti also believes the new Waltham Symphony Orchestra will have a bigger budget to develop its programs. Botti said he does not see the two orchestras as competitors and believes there is a place for both in the community.

"Can Waltham sustain two groups like that? Absolutely," Botti said. "It is a large city."

Born in Marseille, France, Botti has served as principal guest conductor of the Central Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra and artistic director for the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra from 1993 to 2000. He has also guest conducted a number of orchestras worldwide including the Paris Conservatory Orchestra, the BBC Orchestra and the Royal College of Music Orchestra in London and the Boston Philharmonic. Waltham's diversity and its central location make it a perfect fit for the creation of a new symphony orchestra, Botti said. "Waltham was absolutely the best place to do it," he said.