the Jim Setapen tenure seems forever ago. with his departure Kimbo Ishii-Eto was named conductor for our ASO. his era was one of insight and ingenuity in which we witnessed an escalation of the quality of programming and general excitement about the symphony as a whole. not that i would have liked for him to have had as many years at the baton as Jim but i would not have been disappointed had he extended his stay beyond the five years of his contract. maybe five years of little a-town was all he could take. maybe kimbo made a mistake in leaving when he did but the fact is he is gone.
we are now into the second season with our new maestro, Jacomo Rafael Bairos. from where I sit he has the baton well in hand. in my mind there was no drop-off in any aspect upon his ascension to the rostrum. he continues to amaze. my enjoyment of the concerts continues to rise. i appreciate that his programming has a high degree of cohesion, that he is exposing me to American composers and other composers who have not been moldering in the grave for centuries. not that there is anything wrong with Bach, Beethoven et al, there certainly is not, but i truly appreciate the variety of his programming.
i do not pretend to know one damn thing about classical music. i don't. what i do know is that i am keenly anticipating whatever Maestro Bairos and our ASO have for us in the coming season(s). His energy and enthusiasm are infectious. come on people, jump on the Jacomo/ASO bandwagon, we're in for the ride of a lifetime.