Monday, July 02, 2012


If you go to symphony concerts often enough, you get to know the players musically, and even though you probably don't ever talk to them, you wind up feeling like you have a personal relationship with them. even though you don't. You watch their comings and goings and talk about who played the flute solos in which pieces, and who was in the concertmaster's chair today. The players become part of your musical neighborhood, and changes in the neighborhood can be unsettling. 

During the curtain calls for Saturday's season-ending SFS program, a tall guy came out at the back of the stage and handed principal percussionist Jack van Geem a bouquet of red roses, which garnered another big hand from the audience. Then I noticed that the tall guy was Michael Tilson Thomas.

I emailed SFS, and today got the reply: Jack van Geem is retiring, and so is trumpeter Glenn Fischthal.

Hail and farewell; thank you so much, Mr. van Geem and Mr. Fischthal, for your contributions to this great orchestra. Enjoy your post-SFS life, and know that you'll be missed, and remembered with great pleasure.


John Marcher said...

Nicely said, Lisa.
Sad and surprised to see van Geem retiring- he provided so many memorable moments this year during the Mavericks festival. Also surprised not to see another name mentioned, but tact keeps me from stating whose name it was that I expected to see in this announcement. :)

Michael said...

Mr. van Geem sure had his fan club out in force on Saturday night! You could hear them whenever he appeared on stage, and of course during his lovely retirement curtain call. I most heartily second your thanks for all their great music making over the years.