Yo Yo Ma and Stephen Lester play a duet for the audience prior to answering students' questions.
On Thursday May 12th, RB Orchestra Students attended a field trip to hear Ricardo Mutti and Yo Yo Ma rehearse with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center. Susan Synnestvedt, mother of Alex and Maddy Muntean, performs with the orchestra, it was nice to see a familiar face in the orchestra, RB students even applauded as she entered the stage! Students were delighted to hear Mason Bates’ The B Sides, a modern piece that used electronic instruments and percussion effects to create dance club inspired classical music. Then Yo Yo Ma came out to rehearse the Schumann Cello Concerto. He played the piece entirely from memory flawlessly and with finesse and charisma that only a musician of the highest caliber can do. At times he would close his eyes and play with a sensitivity that won the hearts of the audience in a few notes, at other times he performed fiery bursts of notes, adding an exclamation point by jumping out of his seat. Needless to say, the RB students were amazed! The rehearsal concluded with the Strauss Aus Italien. Mutti’s carefully choreographed visualizations brought out the best of the orchestra, at times he even engaged the audience into the rehearsal. To cap off the afternoon, Yo Yo Ma and Stephen Lester led a Q&A session with the audience. RB students Olivia Lauritsen and Findlay Ross both had the opportunity to have Yo Yo Ma answer their questions.
Olivia Lauritsen asks Yo Yo Ma and Stephen Lester when they decided to become a professional musicians.
This was a great opportunity for the orchestra students of RB. We are very lucky to have one of the worlds best orchestras right here in Chicago! Everyone should take advantage of this world class institution, check out www.cso.org for tickets and program information. Also take a look at other photos from the trip on our pictures page.