Symphony’s first concert ‘user-friendly’
After a three-month music drought that has left many fans parched, the Honolulu Symphony opens its season with a magnificent all-Brahms weekend. Two concerts featuring legendary pianist Andre Watts and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 promise to go a long way to satisfying the thirst of music lovers.
» In concert: 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday
» Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall
» Tickets: $19 to $70; $10 students; 20 percent discount for military and seniors. Available at Ticketmaster outlets; (877) 750-4400
» Call: 792-2000 or 524-0815, ext. 245 (evenings), or visit www.honolulusymphony.com
Recognized as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic period, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) wrote music that is both idealistic and accessible. He was influenced by the local melodies of Germany, especially the countryside. Folk tunes and gypsy rhythms play a sparkling role in his compositions.
Most important, Brahms wrote music that everyday people enjoy -- affable and unabashedly romantic (a characteristic that endears him to all generations).
The fact that so many find the music of Brahms to be "user-friendly" is one of the many reasons that his works will launch our new season. Brahms' music is relaxing -- without being too tranquil -- and is among the most requested nationwide.
Why? I'd like to suggest that his music embodies a perfect combination of pleasure, relaxation, exhilaration and amusement -- a powerful stress-busting combination.
In today's world we look to music for more than simply entertainment. Science tells us that listening to music can be effective exercise for the brain. It might even help keep the mind sharp as we age. And if a concert helps us relax, it could also work toward lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.
On the social front, we know how important, yet how difficult, it can be to spend time with family and friends. Sometimes it's hard to give attention to kids, aunties -- you name it -- when we're distracted by "to do" lists.
That's where a trip to the symphony comes in. Whether you want to improve cognitive function, shake off stress or devote time to personal relationships, the choice to attend a concert can make all the difference.
This season, the symphony is proud to return to the Blaisdell Concert Hall to share musical delights and educational experiences with the whole community. We've introduced programs to make it more convenient and affordable to become concertgoers, especially for kids and young adults. Student tickets are always $10. And the group sales program offers $10 flat-rate tickets that make it easier for groups, including schools and senior communities, to partake.
Please join us this weekend as we leave the dry spell behind and welcome a radiant season of beautiful music!
Tom Gulick is executive director of the Honolulu Symphony.