There are about 90 pianos on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution, and there is one man who tunes all of them throughout the season. From music lessons, recitals and rehearsals to evening concerts, Robert Bussell, a 53-year-old piano technician of 33 years, works intensively and practically unnoticed throughout the summer. He shares his story of being the unknown artist.
Upon entering the Amphitheater, a friendly usher approaches, prepared to scan gate passes and greeting passersby as they enter the gates. Everyone, from vice presidents to first-time visitors, hesitates for a moment. Guests may feel a sigh of relief as they enter the Institution’s entertainment hub.
Scenes from the Beach Boys concert Friday evening in the Amphitheater. [SLIDESHOW]
Guest review by Tom Di Nardo
Tuesday evening’s Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra concert was designed as a concert of lighter music — light for us, the audience, though all four works were conceived as serious works by the composers.
Following last Monday’s brilliance with returning 2011 Sigma Alpha Iota-winning violinist Laura Park’s solo and David Effron conducting fellow Roderick Cox’s Chautauqua debut, conductor Timothy Muffitt and the Music School Festival Orchestra will once again take the stage at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.
“It was a great moment,” Cox said, reflecting on the previous performance, where Park and he received a thunderous reception. “But now that I’ve sat back and start to really think about the performance, I gather a couple things I want to work on to fix.”
Based on the crowd’s endearing reaction, it is easy to see how the 24-year-old conductor might want to rest on his laurels. Cox, however, is far from satisfied.
Practice makes perfect, but only if you are committed to it.
“I didn’t like it because it was a chore,” violinist Laura Park said.
During the transition from eighth to ninth grade, Park found herself disconnecting from the instrument she had held since she was 5.
Though Park would practice violin for five hours a day, she often entertained daydreams about a different practice.
“I would say, ‘Oh mom, I want to be a lawyer,’ ” she said. “But then I found out about performing with an orchestra on stage as a soloist. Doing that — I never had as much fun ever in my life.”
Now, Park will be the main focus from 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater. She will take the stage with the Music School Festival Orchestra, led by conductor, mentor and friend Timothy Muffitt.