Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Video: Boston Symphony vs. St. Louis Symphony in a World Series Faceoff
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 01:54 PM
The brass sections of the Boston Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras are sounding off for their respective hometown teams in the World Series.
On Wednesday morning, hours before the first game between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, the two brass ensembles released a video featuring a medley of "Anything You Can Do" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" — with some help from a veteran conductor.
The idea for this musical faceoff started with Michael Martin, a Boston Symphony trumpeter who, on Sunday night, pitched the idea of a video to Karin Bliznik, the new principal trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony. "I thought it would be pretty cool if we could do some kind of fun, good-natured trash-talking,” said Martin, who joined the BSO four years ago.
The two musicians organized their brass sections and Martin worked up a clever but straightforward arrangement, to be played in the finished video that toggles back and forth between the two groups. He also got a lucky break: Seiji Ozawa, the former Boston Symphony music director and a noted Red Sox fan, was in town for the World Series. He happened to be at Symphony Hall that afternoon for a meeting and agreed to return the next day to conduct.
The two brass sections shot their videos on Tuesday afternoon: the SLSO on the stage of Powell Symphony Hall and the BSO on the roof of Symphony Hall, with the Boston skyline in the background. "We made sure both sides were tuned to the same pitch and we made sure that the tempos were the same,” said Martin. (In the end, St. Louis had an edge in the realm of acoustics.)
Martin assembled the final video on Tuesday night, capping a whirlwind 48 hours. “I have a busy, quirky brain and I see the advantages and opportunity of social media and YouTube and Facebook for organizations like ours," he said. "It gives the players opportunities to self-promote in a way."
Game one of the World Series takes place on Wednesday night in Boston.