Based on Amadeus, a film directed by Miloš Forman
Featuring music composed by
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Antonio Salieri
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Jaroslav Krček
Franz Xaver Süssmayr Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin / Music Director Laureate UMS Choral Union
Scott Hanoian / Music Director and Conductor Jeffrey Schindler
Louis Nagel / Piano
Sunday Afternoon, September 15, 2019 at 2:00 Hill Auditorium
Second Performance of the 141st Annual Season 141st Annual Choral Union Series
This afternoon’s performance is supported by the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Peter and Julie Cummings, Tom and Debby McMullen, and the Susan B. Ullrich Endowment Fund.
Media partnership provided by WGTE 91.3 FM, WDET 101.9 FM, and Ann Arbor’s 107one.
The Steinway piano used in this afternoon’s performance is made possible by William and Mary Palmer.
Amadeus Live is a production of Avex Classics International.
In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance.
The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited.
A Miloš Forman Film
F. Murray Abraham Tom Hulce Elizabeth Berridge Simon Callow
Roy Dotrice Christine Ebersole Jeffrey Jones Charles Kay
Director of Photography / Miroslav Ondříček
Film Score Recording conducted and supervised by / Neville Marriner Production Design / Patrizia Von Brandenstein
Choreographer / Twyla Tharp
Screenplay and Original Stage Play by / Peter Shaffer
Producer / Saul Zaentz / The Saul Zaentz Company
Director / Miloš Forman
This afternoon’s film and live performance is approximately three hours in duration and will be performed with one intermission.
GENIUS IS OVERRATED: A DEFENSE OF MEDIOCRITY
by Doyle Armbrust
Ok ok ok. So Miloš Forman’s Amadeus comes out in 1984, and I’m only six years old at that point, so I definitely didn’t see it on the big screen. Somewhere in the mid-90s, my by- then-classical-music-enthused parents let me watch one of the
only cool classical-music-related films ever made...and sweet jumping Jehosaphat...within three minutes of the opening credits I encounter one of — to this day, for me at least — the most disturbing moments in movie history: the attempted suicide of Antonio Salieri. Two valets (including actor Vincent Schiavelli...and who doesn’t adore Vincent Schiavelli?)
of this second-rate composer pound down his door only to discover their charge bleeding from the neck with a self-inflicted knife wound.
Quick aside here: my wife and I
are horror movie über-fans (faves include The Citadel, Lake Mungo, and Wake Wood...you’re welcome), but nothing has ever quite surpassed the adrenaline rush and eventual, ongoing dread I experienced from Forman’s grisly opening scene.
This bit of writing that you’re reading is not about traumatic childhood film experiences, though.
I simply mention it to assure you that Amadeus looms large in my personal filmic biography. What is actually far more intriguing is the portrayal of the titular composer: a genius who closely resembles that friend from college who mysteriously misplaces his wallet every time you eat out, and nests on your couch a week or five past his self-imposed departure deadline.
This is why I love Amadeus. Just about everyone in western society
— even those who will never meaningfully engage with classical music — has been indoctrinated
from an early age to believe that old “Wolfie” is an unassailable genius
and that to disregard his music is tantamount to leaving one’s hat aloft on one’s head during the national anthem at a monster truck rally.
It’s unthinkable. But it plays into a pervasive, societal fascination that we have with so-called “Wunderkind.”
A fascination — one I would argue
is unhealthy and more than a little disturbing — with a perverse form of middle-aged wish-fulfillment.
Though he was by no means
the first — and almost certainly
not the most extreme — example, Mozart’s childhood performative and compositional success is to blame,
to some significant extent, for our culture’s preoccupation with children as miniature dancing show ponies. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a majority of you reading this
have rolled your eyes at Dance Moms, or at least harrumphed the idea of a parent parading around their five-year- old in some hyper-sexed costume
at a beauty pageant. But the truth is, classical music is just as perverse.
Look at any stringed instrument soloist’s bio. Inevitably you will be confronted with some mention of their debut concerto appearance
at an improbable age. Why should we care? Do we really think that,
at age seven, they unlocked some profound philosophic truth with their
performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto? Emphatically: no.
We are just dumbstruck that a kid whose high-water-mark at this age should be not peeing the bed at a sleepover is playing passable octaves and whipping out thorny, 16th-note passages like a next-gen Silicon Valley robot.
Another quick aside here to say that, in my humble opinion, Malcolm Gladwell writes compelling books, but his 10,000 hours theory is — not to put too fine a point on it — bull- honkey. Ask any performer on the UMS roster this season how many hours a day they practiced — and from what age — and with whatsacrifices to what were supposed to be their carefree childhood years... and the math gets a bit grander than what Gladwell suggests. Also, none of them will likely claim to be our era’s “Mozart,” so then you need to add in whatever godforsaken whip-cracking Papa Leopold brought to young Wolfgang’s training. Let’s just agree that this phase of life probably didn’t include any skateboard injuries or sleep-away theater camps.
One of my favorite classical-music- related reads of the last decade is Geoff Colvin’s Talent Is Overrated.
At the risk of oversimplifying, which
I will inevitably do here, Colvin asserts that talent and ability are not lightning strikes from Mount Olympus, but simply a matter of hours spent practicing. Important
to note here, those hours spent are generally achieved by those who exhibit an obsessive interest in their field. Because practicing sucks...
and anyone that tells you otherwise is a liar. Please don’t take my word
for it — go and read this gripping and data-substantiated book — and then consider why so many classical musicians consider themselves “average” if they didn’t kick it on stage with the Chicago Symphony before they could buy cigarettes, or Juul pods, or whatever.
None of this is meant to take anything away from Mozart. I, like the overwhelming majority of classical music fans, am incapable of anything short of bliss when listening to his music. As a violist, I am more often than not relegated to supporting roles in his music...and I am never happier than when I am playing it. It’s funny, it’s tricky, it’s transparent, it’s nimble, and it’s euphoric (even when it’s sad). This was a special person, on par with a Toni Morrison, or a Diego Rivera, or
a Pina Bausch. But, as Amadeus so cleverly divulges — and many artists’ biographies eventually reveal — he was a manic provocateur incapable of managing day-to-day minutiae, with a boatload of pain in tow thanks to his unusual upbringing.
This is why I love Forman’s Mozart so much: the preposterous laugh,
the idiotic pink wig, and the fart jokes. He was just a flesh-and-blood human and no supernatural force ever tapped a magic sword on each of his shoulders and instructed him to go and change the future of western art music. He couldn’t help but be the over-stimulated, deeply flawed man that he was.
To me, this doesn’t detract from Mozart’s mystique at all. It just brings him more into focus because he isn’t so different from you and me. He simply lived with the blessing/curse of being obsessed with harmony
and melody and drama, and the compulsive need to translate it into music...and pay the bills occasionally.
One of my favorite moments in the film arrives right at the conclusion, when a (self-) defeated Salieri is wheeled out into the common room of his mental health facility, following the interview with a priest that provides the frame for the entire script. After telling his confessor that he is the patron saint of the mediocre, he passes his fellow patients in the hallway, exclaiming, “Mediocrity
is everywhere...I absolve you... I absolve you.”
If mediocrity means bypassing burial in a mass grave, pennilessness, and a lifetime of neuroses and self- doubt, well, then I say, “Long live mediocrity!” You, my friend, are not a failure. You are one of the lucky ones.
Doyle Armbrust is a Chicago-based violist and member of the Grammy Award-nominated Spektral Quartet. He is a contributing writer for WQXR’s Q2 Music, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Tribune, and formerly, Time Out Chicago.
Jeffrey Schindler (conductor) enjoys a dynamic international career that takes him from concert podiums around the world
to the recording studios of Hollywood and London. Known as a versatile conductor, Mr. Schindler has conducted world- renowned orchestras across the globe, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Kansas
City Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, Charlotte Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Austin Symphony, Madison (WI) Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the AISOI Symphony Orchestra in Australia.
Mr. Schindler is one of the only conductors leading live orchestra to film performances who has also conducted major A-list Hollywood motion pictures, and recently celebrated his 100th performance of Harry Potter with live orchestra with
film. He includes many other titles in his repertoire, including Amadeus, DreamWorks Animation in Concert, and the Christmas favorite It’s A Wonderful Life. In July 2015, he produced and conducted the world premiere of March of the Penguins live to film with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut performances in the Star Wars galaxy in winter 2019 with the Nashville Symphony.
In every aspect of his diverse career, Mr. Schindler demonstrates his commitment to profound musical communication, technical excellence, versatility, breadth of knowledge, and a quest for imaginative and creative musical interaction.
One of the most accessible orchestras on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city.
As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade- long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s music director laureate, endowed
by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s principal pops conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2019–20. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series
in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became
the first orchestra in the world to present
a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of
thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion.
With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.
Formed in 1879 by a group of local university and townspeople who gathered together
for the study of Handel’s Messiah, the UMS Choral Union has performed with many of the world’s distinguished orchestras and conductors in its 141-year history. First led by Professor Henry Simmons Frieze and then conducted by Professor Calvin Cady, the group has performed Handel’s Messiah in Ann Arbor annually since its first Messiahperformance in December 1879. Based in Ann Arbor under the aegis of UMS and led by Scott Hanoian, the 175-voice Choral Union
is known for its definitive performances of large-scale works for chorus and orchestra. In addition to its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, the UMS Choral Union’s 2019–20 season includes a performance of Sibelius’ Snöfrid with the Minnesota Orchestra and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The UMS Choral Union was a participant chorus in a rare performance and recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience in Hill Auditorium in April 2004 under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. Naxos Records released a three-disc set of this recording in October 2004, featuring the UMS Choral Union and U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance ensembles. The recording won four Grammy Awards in 2006, including “Best Choral Performance” and “Best Classical Album.” Other recenthighlights include a Grammy-nominated recording project with the U-M School
of Music, Theatre & Dance’s choral and
orchestral ensembles of a performance of the rarely heard Oresteian Trilogy by Darius Milhaud conducted by Kenneth Kiesler. The ensemble recently received The American Prize in Choral Performance (community division) for its 2017 performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.
Participation in the UMS Choral Union remains open to all students and adults by audition. For more information, please visit ums.org/choralunion.
Scott Hanoian (music director and conductor, UMS Choral Union) conducts and prepares the Grammy Award-winning UMS Choral Union in performances
with the world’s finest orchestras and conductors. Choruses prepared by Mr. Hanoian have sung under the batons
of Leonard Slatkin, Iván Fischer, Stefan Sanderling, Peter Oundjian, Fabien Gabel, and Arie Lipsky.
Mr. Hanoian is active as an organist, accompanist, continuo artist, conductor, choral adjudicator, and guest clinician. He is the director of music and organist at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, where he directs the church’s four choirs and oversees the yearly concert series. Mr. Hanoian has served on the faculty of Wayne State University and Oakland University and was the artistic director and conductor of the Oakland Choral Society from 2013–15.
As an organist and conductor, Mr. Hanoian has performed concerts throughout the
US and has led choirs on trips to Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, France, and Spain. In the summer of 2017, Mr. Hanoian led the Christ Church Schola during their weeklong residency at Westminster Abbey.
Before moving to Grosse Pointe, Mr. Hanoian was the assistant organist and assistant director of music at Washington National Cathedral where he played the organ for many services including the
funerals for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Mr. Hanoian has recorded the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms for the JAV label.
Louis Nagel (piano) is professor emeritus of piano at the University of Michigan. Critics have praised his pianism as “deeply satisfying...and a panorama of auralexperiences,” and exhibits “...an exciting musical intelligence combined with a brilliant technique.”
Winner of the Harold Hugh Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University
of Michigan, Mr. Nagel has combined his pedagogical and performance career
with outreach throughout the US and abroad. Performances and residencies have reached audiences and students
in Australia, Israel, Vienna, Italy, Russia, England, Taiwan, and Canada. He is equally at home offering his popular lecture recitals in retirement homes and classes for senior citizens. He has proudly taught some of the most talented graduates at the University of Michigan who have distinguished themselves in music careers worldwide.
Mr. Nagel has been called the “go-
to” mentor to prepare for college and conservatory auditions, competitions, and those who want to reach the “next level” in pianistic and musical artistry. He has a private studio and continues to concertize in solo performances and in collaboration with his wife, Dr. Julie Jaffee Nagel, in joint master classes and private sessions that combine pedagogy and psychology.
A graduate of The Juilliard School with three degrees, his recordings include
the works of Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Liszt, and Balakirev. Mr. Nagel is a Steinway Artist. For more information, please visit louisnagel.net.
DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Leonard Slatkin / Music Director Laureate
Music Directorship endowed by the Kresge Foundation
Jeff Tyzik / Principal Pops Conductor
Terence Blanchard / Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair Neeme Järvi / Music Director Emeritus
Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy / Interim Concertmaster
Katherine Tuck Chair
Hai-Xin Wu / Interim Associate Concertmaster Schwartz Shapero Family Chair
Jennifer Wey Fang / Assistant Concertmaster Walker L. Cisler/Detroit Edison Foundation Chair
Marguerite Deslippe* Laurie Goldman* Rachel Harding Klaus* Eun Park Lee* Adrienne Rönmark* Laura Soto*
Yoonshin Song^ / Concertmaster
Adam Stepniewski / Assistant Principal Will Haapaniemi*
David and Valerie McCammon Chair
Hae Jeong Heidi Han*
David and Valerie McCammon Chair
Hong-Yi Mo* Alexandros Sakarellos*
Drs. Doris Tong and Teck Soo Chair
Joseph Striplin* Marian Tanau* Jing Zhang* Open / Principal
The Devereaux Family Chair
Eric Nowlin / Principal Julie and Ed Levy, Jr. Chair
James VanValkenburg / Assistant Principal Caroline Coade
Shanda Lowery-Sachs Hart Hollman
Wei Yu / Principal James C. Gordon Chair
Abraham Feder / Assistant Principal Dorothy and Herbert Graebner Chair
Robert Bergman* Jeremy Crosmer* David LeDoux* Peter McCaffrey*
Joanne Danto and Arnold Weingarden Chair
Haden McKay* Úna O’Riordan*
Mary Ann and Robert Gorlin Chair
Victor and Gale Girolami Chair
Kevin Brown / Principal Van Dusen Family Chair
Stephen Molina / Assistant Principal Linton Bodwin
Patricia Masri-Fletcher / Principal Winifred E. Polk Chair
Sharon Sparrow / Assistant Principal Bernard and Eleanor Robertson Chair
Morton and Brigitte Harris Chair
Jeffery Zook Open / Principal
Women’s Association for the DSO Chair
Alexander Kinmonth / Principal Jack A. and Aviva Robinson Chair
Maggie Miller Chair
Open / Assistant Principal
Shari and Craig Morgan Chair
Ralph Skiano / Principal Robert B. Semple Chair
PVS Chemicals Inc./Jim and Ann Nicholson Chair Laurence Liberson / Assistant Principal Shannon Orme
Barbara Frankel and Ronald Michalak Chair
Robert Williams / Principal
Michael Ke Ma / Assistant Principal Marcus Schoon
Karl Pitch / Principal
David Everson / Assistant Principal Mark Abbott
Hunter Eberly / Principal Lee and Floy Barthel Chair
Stephen Anderson / Assistant Principal William Lucas
African-American Orchestra Fellow
Kenneth Thompkins / Principal David Binder
Dennis Nulty / Principal
Joseph Becker / Principal
Ruth Roby and Alfred R. Glancy III Chair
Andrés Pichardo-Rosenthal / Assistant Principal William Cody Knicely Chair
Jeremy Epp / Principal Richard and Mona Alonzo Chair
James Ritchie / Assistant Principal
Robert Stiles / Principal Ethan Allen
Heather Hart Rochon / Director of Orchestra Personnel
Patrick Peterson / Manager of Orchestra Personnel
Dennis Rottell / Stage Manager
Ryan DeMarco / Department Head Noel Keesee / Department Head Steven Kemp / Department Head Matthew Pons / Department Head Michael Sarkissian / Department Head
* These members may voluntarily revolve seating within the section on a regular basis
^ Leave of Absence
Michigan Ross is proud
to support the University
Musical Society and this performance of Amadeus.
UMS CHORAL UNION
Scott Hanoian / Conductor and Music Director Shohei Kobayashi / Assistant Conductor
Jean Schneider and Scott VanOrnum / Pianists Kathleen Operhall / Chorus Manager
Anne Cain-Nielsen / Librarian Soprano
Debra Joy Brabenec
Susan F. Campbell
Cheryl D. Clarkson
Marie Ankenbruck Davis Carrie Deierlein
Meredith Hanoian – SC Suzanne Hopkins
Stephanie Miller-Allen Armaity Minwalla
Margaret Dearden Petersen Sara J. Peth
Virginia Thorne-Herrmann Petra Vande Zande
Maureen White-Goeman Mary Wigton – SL
Lora Perry Campredon Cheong-Hee Chang Kathleen E. Daly Melissa Doyle
Jessica Dudek Summer Edwards Jane Forman
Judi Lempert Green Kat Hagedorn
Kate Hughey Katherine Klykylo Jean Leverich Cynthia Lunan
Beth McNally – SC Marilyn Meeker – SL Carol Milstein
Danielle Mukamal Kathryn Murphy Meghana Shankar Cindy Shindledecker Susan Sinta
Hanna Song Katherine Spindler Gayle Beck Stevens Paula Strenski
Ruth A. Theobald Alice VanWambeke Mary Beth Westin Karen Woollams
Parinya Chucherdwatanasak John R. Diehl
Richard S. Gibson
Peter C. Henninger-Osgood Benjamin Johnson
Andrew S. Kohler
Robert J. Stevenson
Sam Baetzel – SL Joel Beam
Andrew Berryhill William Boggs – SC Charles A. Burch Kyle Cozad
John Dryden Robert Edgar Jeffrey Ellison Allen Finkel
Greg Fleming Christopher Friese Ryan Hayes
Jorge I igues-Lluhi Michael S. Khoury Joseph S. Kosh Rick Litow
Roderick L. Little Joseph D. McCadden James B. McCarthy Ian Roederer Matthew Rouhana Thomas Sommerfeld Jeff Spindler
William Stevenson David Townsend Scott Venman James Watz
SL – Section Leader SC – Section Coach
TICKETS NOW ON SALE!
An Evening with
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House
Featuring American tenor Michael Fabiano, soprano and Michigan native Leah Crocetto, tenor and Detroit favorite Rod Dixon, and dancers from American Ballet Theatre. All will join the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Steven Mercurio.
MichiganOpera.org or 313.237.7464
AMERICAN BALLET STEVEN MERCURIO THEATRE DANCERS
The evening will also include a special tribute to legendary opera tenor George Shirley.
This afternoon’s performance marks the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 84th appearance under UMS auspices following the Orchestra’s UMS debut in November 1919 at Hill Auditorium under the baton of Ossip Gabrilowitsch.
The Orchestra most recently appeared under UMS auspices in September
2018, conducted by Robert Ziegler in Hill Auditorium, in a live season-opening presentation of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This afternoon’s performance marks the UMS Choral Union’s 442nd appearance under UMS auspices since its founding in 1879, following its most recent UMS performance in February 2019 of Britten’s War Requiem in Hill Auditorium conducted by Scott Hanoian. Louis Nagel makes his 11th UMS appearance this afternoon, following 10 UMS performances with Michigan Chamber Players faculty artists since March 1983. UMS welcomes conductor Jeffrey Schindler as he makes his UMS debut this afternoon.
THANK YOU TO SUPPORTERS
OF THIS AFTERNOON'S PERFORMANCE
Lead Presenting Sponsor
Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Peter and Julie Cummings Supporting Sponsors
Tom and Debby McMullen
The Susan B. Ullrich Endowment Fund
MAY WE ALSO RECOMMEND...
10/16–20 Isango Ensemble: A Man of Good Hope and The Magic Flute 11/2 John Cameron Mitchell: The Origin of Love Tour
11/16 Vivaldi’s Four Seasons / Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed
Tickets available at www.ums.org.
ON THE EDUCATION HORIZON...
10/16 & 10/18
Post-Performance Artist Q&A: Grupo Corpo
(Power Center Auditorium)
Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance to attend.
You Can Dance: Grupo Corpo
(Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm) Registration opens 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
Post-Performance Artist Q&A: Isango Ensemble
(Power Center Auditorium)
Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance to attend.
Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
University Musical Society