SANTA FE, NM – Guess how long Pro Musica has been in Santa Fe.
Elvis was here, along with Groucho and John Lennon. Apple Computers, cell phones and the Internet, CNN, Happy meals and Star Wars had not yet been introduced to the world. Kim Jong Un hadn’t even been born.
Celebrating over 40 years on the scene, Pro Musica is probably the oldest symphony orchestra in Santa Fe.
The original brainchild of conductor Tom O’Connor and executive director Carol Redman, who are still lovingly at the helm, it is small in relative terms, with 25-40 musicians performing, depending on the repertoire.
So what to do for a 40th anniversary? Pro Musica brought in Midori, the remarkable young virtuoso violinist, to play with the orchestra and then mingle with fans at a posh patrons party afterwards. She spoke modestly about her activities, accomplishments and passions off the stage, and she appears to be an exemplary human being.
Midori was a child prodigy, starting on the violin as a toddler of 3 in Japan, and performing with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic at age 11.
Today, she is an internationally acclaimed performer, never missing a note on the world’s fanciest stages. She is chairman of the String Department at the Thornton School of Music at USC and teaches nine private students, and, as she mentioned at the post-performance party, she runs her own foundation, taking music lessons and concerts to children in schools and hospitals.
Her foundation also takes instruments and concerts to people in developing countries. She escorts groups of students to the UN and takes messages of peace through music around the world (indeed, she herself is an ambassador for the UN), and, in her spare time, organizes numerous local community service projects endeavoring to connect all people through the medium of music.
Her schedule operates on minutes. Santa Fe was fortunate to get her! She didn’t have time to sit down for Restaurant Martin’s fabulous dinner – had to catch a plane!
And, as always, Martin did produce a fabulous dinner in his lovely glass party box, hung this evening with Japanese lanterns for Midori. Fifty Pro Musica supporters attended the lively four-course banquet, which generated $10,000 for their various needs … playing, educating, connecting and sharing music.
“Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” – Stevie Wonder, 1976.
Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
George Riordan and Crawford Best, principal bassoon, share a moment.
Carol Redman, co-founder of Pro Musica, beams.
Pro Musica conductor and founder Tom O’Connor visits with board member Darryl Lindbergh.
Revell Carr, president of the Pro Musica board, enjoys the festivities.
Valerie Levine and Cindy Tanner get close.
Judy Naumberg and Stuart Bluestone celebrate Pro Musica.