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Symphonies of scientists- MIT crowds concert

The violinist... wasn't playing the music; he was being it. Carl A. LaCombe '86


MIT goes to Symphony Hall, March 8.

Friday night, 230 members of the MIT community attended the concert by the Academy of Ancient Music in Symphony Hall. They were mostly students. The Tech had spoken to John Parker Murdock, promoter of the concert, who was having trouble selling tickets.

We suggested he make tickets available to MIT at a low price and offered, in return, to help with publicity. The Tech ran three announcements. The Technology Community Association distributed posters around the campus. TCA also did a sterling job of selling the tickets to the unexpected rush of would-be purchasers.

"Whole laboratories signed up for the concert" said TCA spokesman Tamara Moore.

The Tech interviewed some of the students who attended the concert. Alan Sieving '85 said it was the first time he had been to a musical performance in Boston. He felt the Orchestra was a "fine group" and would go to classical concerts again, especially if discount tickets were once more available.

Tom Junk '88 "just liked" the music and was also encouraged by the discount offer. Dasa Lipovsek '88 was less enamored of the proceedings, though: No, she hadn't been to classical concerts before, and this one was just "OK."

Michael Thomas '85 found the concert fun. He was encouraged to return. Uwe Pape, Visiting Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, was impressed by the "splendid" singing of Emma Kirkby. And, though Rohit Ramaswamy G was not enjoying the evening -- the Hall was too big for the chamber-sized ensemble, he said -- Louis Roehrs '88 characterized the Academy's performances of the Bach Double Concerto and Wedding Cantata as "superb."

Several members of The Tech staff who attended the concert provided comments. Carl A. LaCombe '86 "watched the violinist and he wasn't playing the music; he was being it." But Michael Tuchman '88 had less flattering comments to make about the Double Concerto. He asserted that it "betrayed a somewhat disorganized style, not usual to the group that finished a very professional Mozart symphony cycle this year."

He also had mixed feelings about the Wedding Cantata, but really enjoyed Apollo and Dafne. David Thomas' "strong well-projected voice did justice to both Handel and Mt. Olympus... The Handel piece clearly redeemed whatever shortcomings were manifest in the other two pieces."

The Handel was also the "highlight of the evening" for Poh Ser Hsu G, impressed by the "great enthusiasm" of Emma Kirkby and the balance between soloists and orchestra. But, perhaps Robert Malchman '85 says it all:


What it comes down to, is whether a classical concert like this one is six times better than an LSC movie. It is. Friday evening was my first Symphony Hall concert, and if MIT can organize a program of discounts, it will not be my last.

I most enjoyed the Bach violin concerto. I can't really explain why; I just liked the sound.

The cantata bored me. There was nothing wrong with the music, the musicians or Emma Kirkby, the soprano. As I liked the concerto for no apparent reason, I disliked the cantata.

Handel's dramatic cantata, however, held my interest. Director Christopher Hogwood's light introduction to the piece served to pique my interest.

Handel's Apollo and Daphne is generic classical music, as opposed to Bach's distinct style, but the Academy's performance raised the piece beyond its pedestrian score. Kirkby and David Thomas, the bass, did not merely sing their roles; the pair acted them forcefully.


Due to the reponse to the sale of discount tickets, The Tech is pleased to announce the start of "The Tech performing Arts Series" which we hope to develop into a regular program of discount tickets for the MIT community. The next event will be the performance by Segovia in Symphony Hall at 8 pm on March 24. Tickets, once more priced at $6, will again be sold by courtesy of the Technology Community Association.

Jonathan Richmond->