I know that Father's Day doesn't grace the calendars until June, but I needed an excuse to buy tickets to the symphony, and my dad's birthday isn't until August. The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of famed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, was coming to Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, and they were playing a fabulous concert. In fact, it was the inclusion of a Tchaikovsky piece that really made my decision for me, and I knew that it would be a perfect gift for my dad.
Growing up, and I know that I've mentioned this on many occasions, music was always a presence in our house. From my mom's favorites (John Denver, James Taylor, and Simon and Garfunkel) to my dad's (The Beatles, Cream, Bob Seger), my brother and I grew to love their favorites and made them our own.
But it was classical music that really embedded itself in my soul. From Beethoven to Bach, Vivaldi to Tchaikovsky, I was in love.
I had my preferences, and those were usually the piano and violin concertos. I think that it's the fact that they are such personal pieces - the interpretation of a piece of music by just one person. Plus, they were lovely to dance to in my ballet classes.
Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major remains my favorite to this day, with the first movement eliciting the most interest. It is thought to be the most difficult piece ever written for the violin, and if you watch the clip below, you'll see why. I can't say that I didn't cry just past the six-minute mark, because I did. The second movement, slow and romantic, and the third, fast and almost out of control, cements this concerto as perfection in my heart. It was such an amazing experience, and I think that I will be attending more symphonies in the future. And I won't need a reason this time.