Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hermann Michael remembered 2

My friend Hermann Michael sent this recommendation to me in May. He wrote it by hand, in spite of his grave illness. You can sense his loving relationship with Seattle musicians in his writing. How we all miss him!

May 10, 05

To whom it may concern,

I would like to let you know how much I appreciate Ilkka Talvi, the former concertmaster of the SSO.

I know Ilkka from numerous occasions as a guest-conductor with the SSO since 1984. Since then I was guest-conducting more than 30 major orchestras in the U.S.A., including the famous big orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Boston Philadelphia, San Francisco or the MET.

In my personal judgement Ilkka can bear the comparison with the concertmasters of those great orchestras.

Ilkka is a great artist and a wonderful violinist as well. I do remember my first appearance with the SSO in 1984: despite my poor English at that time I felt immediately a musical oneness with him. He understood every gesture and knew immediately how to “translate” it into violinistic terms. Over all these years he demonstrated his ability to lead a Violin-group, to demand the best quality from his collegues and to communicate with them always very friendly, not hurting anyone’s feelings.

He is at ease with every musical style, Symphony and Opera repertoire as well.

Many outstanding performances remain in my memory, with him as a soloist and as the concertmaster of my beloved SSO.

Hermann Michael