In a noble effort to make classical music cool again the BSO brought fashion (and models) to their Ligeti, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky program, featuring Marc-André Hamelin (who banged on that Steinway just like Shostakovitch would’ve) , trumpets, and BSO assistant conductor Julian Kuerti, whom I think would be an apt replacement for Levine. There’s no reason Boston, or the BSO board, should require a heavyweight septuagenarian for the post, over someone who can give an entire career to the orchestra and build something, not to mention bring down their insurance premiums.
Needless to say, models pacing through the corridors of Symphony Hall gave one a reason to arrive early and I saw more than one pair of wandering eyes. Photographer Ryan Howell, whom we have to thank for the pictures below, was lucky enough to have an excuse to stare. Project Tchaikovsky put nine local fashion students up against each other for the best Tchaikovsky inspired gown. We probably saw a few too many (or perhaps as many as would be expected) inspired by Swan Lake and the 1812 Overture, but the BSO marketing team and these aspiring designers pulled off a solid event. Although it probably worked better in the pre-concert dress viewing than the post-concert late show in the Higginson Room. But, they were generous enough to put out some food and pass out free drink tickets to liven things up as we waited for MC Jared Bowen to arrive.
Dresses that “suggested the tutus of ballet” and that had an “insert shaped like a French horn” were exhibited to an audience that, strangely enough for a classical music crowd, for once didn’t know when to clap. The closest I had ever been to a fashion show before was Who Are You, Polly Magoo?, and I was unsure of myself in my applause as most others in the room, who are more accustomed to waiting for the final allegro than a model to turn. On the subject of allegros, Kuerti brought down the house with the final movements of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 35 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 17, “Little Russian”. They were alive.