Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Significance of Gustav Mahler's Birthday

Yesterday, in my Examiner.com review of Sunday evening's San Francisco Performances recital by cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Kirill Gerstein, I made a passing reference to the fact that Benjamin Britten's Opus 65 cello sonata in C major was given its first performance on the 101st anniversary of Gustav Mahler's birth (Mahler's birthday being July 7, 1860). Today I learned, from Allan Kozinn's recent post to the ArtsBeat blog of The New York Times, that the 150th anniversary of Mahler's birth will be celebrated by Ringo Starr with a concert at Radio City Music Hall. That is because that same date, July 7, 2010, will be Starr's 70th birthday! My guess is that, somewhere in the course of those 70 years, someone will have pointed out to Ringo who shares his birthday. I can even hear Ringo's voice coming back with something like, "Gustav who?" Mahler, of course, wrote some pretty mean drum music; but, alas, he never enjoyed the market that the Beatles did!

1 comment:

ruby said...

Years ago, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band played a show at the Concord Pavilion. The sister of Bill Bennett, a colleague of mine in the SFS, got us backstage passes to visit with Ringo before the show. We chatted with him for about 15 minutes, and Ringo autographed two of my Beatle cards that I had saved from my youth. After reminiscing about the scenes in the cards, we began to chat about the joys of playing outdoor concerts. Bill spoke of the time that the orchestra played in Concord, with Blomstedt. As Bill told the story of playing the Rite of Spring there, with the Concord frogs joining in the opening measures of the Rite, Ringo said, "Ah, Stravinsky." He was very gracious and enjoyed hearing our tales of playing Stravinsky outdoors at this same venue where he was just about to play "With a Little Help from My Friends".
Since Ringo knows Le Sacre, he may very well know Mahler. What a cool guy he was. Ringo is fab! Beatles forever, along with Stravinsky and Mahler.