to buy a Montagna.
Principal cellist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, he’s performing the Elgar concerto with the orchestra this coming weekend, performing (according to the artile linked to above) on a borrowed, for-sale Montagna, the price of which is evidently beyond the reach of even a principal cellist’s salary and gig income (surprise!). (Also beyond the reach of one living on a cello professor’s salary.)
Minor rant: the orchestra has one of those websites that drive me nuts. On the home page, the concert is listed simply as “TCHAIKOVSKY Sym. No. 5.” Other orchestras do this, featuring on a particular work to sell the concert. Glancing at it, you wouldn’t know that one of the most acclaimed young cellists in the States is performing, or that there’s also the opportunity to hear a Tippet Suite. (OK, I understand Tchaikovsky sells more than Tippet.)
On the other hand, the SLSO cello section page has a great banner (above) featuring the Elgar, with a fabulous picture of Mr. Lee. So snaps to the management for that.
But does this plugging-a-single-work strategy really work? I have my doubts, but no data. I’m not a typical audience member (if there is such a thing). The Indianapolis Symphony does something similar. “Hilary Hahn-A World Premiere!” the home page announces. Click on the link and you discover that the composer is Jennifer Higdon (terrific!) and that the program also includes “two of Mario Venzago’s signature pieces.” But WTF are they? Takes another click to discover they are the Weber Der Freischütz Overture and the Schumann Fourth Symphony.
And Mr. Lee really needs his own website!