Classical Music

Happy Hour Concert #1

Tonight was the first in a series of three Happy Hour concerts!  Sponsored by the Grandview-based Watershed Distillery, the Columbus Symphony hosted an evening of great fun and terrific music!

What a fantastic idea this is!  Well done, CSO!  Bravo, Watershed Distillery!

The idea behind the Happy Hours is to offer up an alternative to the more formal, weekend concert series with the Symphony in favor of a more casual atmosphere, after work evening.  This evening not only offered up some great music, but also free appetizers and some special drink prices on beverages featuring Watershed Distillery’s own gins, vodkas and bourbons.


Classical 101’s Christopher Purdy played host to the event filled with a lot of playful banter with Maestro Gregory Vajda. It was a lot of fun because they both have a great sense of humor which played really well with the audience. At one point, Mr. Purdy asked for a show of hands for first timers.  I was in the balcony and couldn’t see below, but a lot of hands went up around me which is great because they’ve now officially been introduced to our fabulous symphony!

The concert opened with a piece by present-day composer, Michael Torke, called Run. Run is part of a commissioned work written for the New York Philharmonic originally performed back in the early 1990s and was very nice to hear. The music definitely did a good job emulating the sound and feel of running, though not being a runner, I can only imagine. But – it was easy to picture while I was listening!

From there we moved on to some of that playful banter between our host and maestro before being introduced to Beethoven’s Symphony No 4.  Before they started though, Maestro Vajda encouraged us to applaud in between movements (not typical concert etiquette!) if we felt so inclined.  Well – we definitely felt so inclined.  Nice to break out of the mold a bit!

Hmm…In the last year or so, I’ve now heard three of Beethoven’s nine symphonies and will see another one (his 5th) next weekend with some friends and family.  I wonder if I need to put in a CSO request for Symphonies 1-3, 7-8 for the next year or two so I can complete my set!

The final piece on tonight’s program was the ever-enjoyable set of Slavonic Dances by Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak.

Happy Hour 1

Tonight was a well-planned evening of fun.  Turnout was great and I was especially happy to not only see a bunch of first timers to the symphony, some of my Peace Corps friends and even some former classmates but also several families. One young boy a couple rows in front of me did really well and didn’t get restless until halfway through the Dvorak. His mom did a great job keeping her hand on his back, but also patting it to the beat! The gentleman in front of me was halfway conducting with his right hand and many of us were tapping our hands and feet to the music, so we were all definitely getting into it.

Like I said before – Well done, CSO! Thanks for sponsoring this, Watershed Distillery! This was definitely a great idea!

If you weren’t able to attend this evening, fear not as this is just the first in a series of three Happy Hour events with the next two events’ taking place after the new year.  Here are the next two:

Wednesday, February 12, featuring guest conductor Daniel Meyer

Wednesday, March 26, featuring guest conductor Rossen Milanov 

I love Eastern Europe and while Maestro Vajda hailed from Hungary, Maestro Milanov hails from my adopted country of Bulgaria, where I served in the Peace Corps. I definitely can’t miss that one!


 – – – Coming soon on Giocosity via an exclusive interview!  Meet Columbus Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Jean-Sébastien Roy!

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