Andrew Litton's Final Season: Highlights of a Dallas Career

Classic Arts Features   Andrew Litton's Final Season: Highlights of a Dallas Career
In the latest installment of a multi-part interview, Playbill asks outgoing Dallas Symphony conductor Andrew Litton to recall some of the highlights of his DSO career.

"It's funny how in 2005, I still remember vividly my first concerts with the DSO in the 1993-1994 season, when I was music director designate. I remember how exciting it was to be there in front of the orchestra performing Brahms' Second Piano Concerto, with soloist Horatio Guiterrez, and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony on the second half. That feeling still sticks with me to this day."

Also memorable are the three European tours he helped orchestrate in 1997, 2000, and 2003. "We get so used to performing in our own amazing hall, the Meyerson, that it is an experience to perform in other venues across the world. The tours are so memorable because we are always playing in a different hall and for a different audience; there is a real sense of occasion at each performance. Traveling around the world as a group also builds relationships within the orchestra. My favorite concerts were the Mahler Seven [Mahler's Symphony No. 7] in the Musikverein [in Vienna] in 2003 and the Proms concert in London in 1997."

Litton's primary inspiration for becoming a conductor was Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. In order to "repay" that debt, Litton initiated the Amazing Music educational videos for television in the 1990s. His favorite is the "Families of the Orchestra" video. He recalls with fondness arranging the shows, letting kids conduct the orchestra, and creating some new approaches to music education.

Certainly one of Andrew Litton's most memorable experiences was his 40th birthday concert. "It was so festive, with huge white balloons decorating the hall." A picture of Jimmy Lin and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg dressed as hayseeds appeared in the September/October Playbill. They were a few of Litton's many friends that participated in the concert. "It is so rare to have that many friends together in one place. The whole weekend was definitely a highlight."

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