Joe and I were lucky enough to snag tickets (thanks Sophia!) to Des Moines Symphony 75th Anniversary Season Debut. We got to hear the newly commissioned piece “Symphony In Sculpture,” which was inspired by the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. I thought that was particularly fun, because so often you look into a program booklet and see 19th century Russians with crazy awesome mustaches. But here was something so close, so contemporary, being brought to life on violin strings and through the crash of cymbals.
Plus, I couldn’t believe when I read in the program that the Minnesota composer Steve Heitzeg sometimes uses MANATEE BONES in his work:
At first I was shocked and appalled, but then I figure that the manatees probably perished naturally or from their #1 foe, motor boats, so it was actually rather beautiful. What manatee, in its wildest marine mammal dreams, would imagine participating in a symphony?
The music was paired with video images of the sculptures, which was a neat touch. I think my favorite movement was the one that was inspired by Juno & Ancient Forest because it utilized some interesting percussion. Michael Morain wrote up a much more knowledgeable review, if you’re interested. He also has a great blog post with snippet samples performed by Des Moines Symphony trombonist Casey Maday.
It was Joe’s first symphony and we got to sit next to Karen and Arin, plus eat celebratory 75th anniversary symphony cupcakes afterward!
Going to see the Des Moines Symphony at least once should be on everyone’s bucket list. Adult tickets start at right around $15, and even if you’re in the back row and don’t know your Engelbert Humperdink from Franz Liszt, you can appreciate the beauty of the music. Check out the rest of the landmark season lineup at dmsymphony.org.