auf wiedersehen, mr. iwasaki

the sad, sad news broke just over a week ago now: jun iwasaki is leaving the oregon symphony for another band.  it’s the orchestral equivalent of superman resigning from the justice league of america.  okay sure, the beaver knows the band will play on (gloriously) and it knows peter frajola is gonna step up to the plate (brilliantly) and it knows carlos is eventually gonna snag some amazing new replacement (assuredly)… however, at the present moment, the same recurring thought seems to surface over and over: this really fucking sucks.

okay, i’ve said it ~ perhaps i can move on now.  perhaps.  it’s just that when the classical beaver first fell in love with this orchestra, mr. iwasaki was the face of the band.  always there.  always kick-ass.  whether he was leading the charge through a symphony, or shining as a soloist, or disrobing during the danzón, he proved to be no less than a perpetual violin adonis.  the beav misses him already.

nashville, you are one lucky s.o.b.

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2 Responses to “auf wiedersehen, mr. iwasaki”


  1. 1 Olin Williams June 9, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Brian, I wanted to tell you how much I admire your passion for the symphony and all things musical. It gives me great hope!

  2. 2 Dan Rasay June 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I’m an eternal optimist but am putting on my realist hat on for a sec…

    Don’t hate the playa (ie. Nashville) – hate the game.

    Consider this:
    * While the Schnitz is a cool venue. It sucks as a concert hall – I’m still trying to find the best seat in the house (acoustics & proximity to the stage are the primary criteria… proximity to the symphony room is secondary criteria 😉
    * Average sectional player compensation isn’t that great. IMHO – it is crap. Principals can make more elsewhere.
    * The OSO doesn’t regularly record or tour

    If David Buck wasn’t a shot across the bow last year – Jun leaving sure as hell is.

    PDXers need to step up and *change* the game.

    Specifically in the near-term the symphony needs folks to donate and/or renew their memberships (http://www.orsymphony.org/getinvolved/indibenefits.aspx).

    If the symphony balances their budget by June 30th (for the second year) they’ll qualify for a $1,000,000 grant from wonderful James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation. Word on the street is that they’re not quite balanced yet so any gift or pledge (payment plan) helps! Fellow symphony fanatics Bill & Karen Early will match renewed gifts dollar for dollar and any new/increased gifts $2 for each $1… up to $250,000!

    Of course there are other ways to change the game… I’m up for discussing any/all *legal* options!


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