* Playing with Rachel Barton Pine this January. I'm an Illinois girl, I grew up about an hour from Chicago. When I was young the Chicago Symphony had a youth concerto competition and broadcast the finals on television. The first year I watched, Rachel Barton Pine was a finalist, playing Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy. At the time I had been studying the violin for two years through school and had not yet started taking private lessons. Her performance was so exciting I could hardly sit still to watch. It was pivotal in my decision to become serious about music. I can't wait to hear her play Brahms.
* Collaborating with Clarence Brown Theatre on the February Masterworks concert. I really like Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream anyway. I'm anticipating that the actors will make it even better. This is a collaboration that a lot of the orchestra is buzzing about. Before my time here there was a collaboration on another Shakespeare play (Hamlet? Macbeth?) that people are still talking about.
* Mozart Requiem in April. I LOVE this piece. I say that about most things we play, but I really, truly, adore the Mozart Requiem. For me it's up there with Beethoven's 9th Symphony (which is my absolute favorite piece of music).
* Speaking of Beethoven's 9th, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that we might be performing this next season. I don't know this for sure, but we *have* been performing a Beethoven symphony every year and next year *is* the orchestra's 75th anniversary... This is a prediction only, and like many predictions about the new year, it may not actually happen. After all, the earth hasn't imploded and we are not ruled by a population of giant ant-people. A girl can wish, though. (For Beethoven's 9th, not the giant ant-people.)
* Which leads me to the final thing I'm looking forward to about 2010: the announcement of the KSO's 2010 - 2011 75th anniversary season! I'm sure it will be a great season and will give us all wonderful things to look forward to in the second half of 2010.