The event which changed my life

45 years ago this weekend (July 25-27, 1975), my life changed. My 12th birthday present from my grandmother (a founding member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus) was a weekend at Tanglewood – culminating in hearing, live, the piece I was then obsessed with – Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I hung around all the rehearsals of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and BSO that week. I bought the scores to all nine Beethoven symphonies at the Tanglewood Music Store (yes, this picture is of those exact scores which I still have), even though I couldn’t read music – but, determined to learn. 11 years later I entered Curtis as a conducting major. Interestingly, I’d forgotten that the great Klaus Tennstedt led the Sunday performance – heady stuff for a geeky twelve year-old wannabe musician!! Weird life fact: I’ve conducted every Beethoven symphony multiple times – except the 9th – I’ve prepared it chorally more times than I can count – but never led it myself – life goals.

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