Pin It

Kelly's Blue Book 

by Ann M. Colofrd & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & K & lt;/span & elly Farris doesn't like to talk about himself. Invariably, he steers the conversation toward stories about other people, especially other musicians he's worked with.

On Bruce Ferden: & r & "He transformed the orchestra. Our first two years with Bruce were difficult. He was extremely demanding, and it took us two years to finally give him something of what he wanted in terms of passion, intensity and commitment. I think it permanently changed the orchestra, just in expanding our range of acting ability [and] the highs and lows of intensity. And he demanded it. That was not easy for a lot of us. But after that, he had the orchestra on his side. That doesn't mean he didn't get frustrated.... But Bruce had the chops."

On Fabio Mechetti: & r & "He came [as guest conductor] during [the 1986-87] season, I think, for a program with [clarinetist] Richard Stoltzman doing the Corigliano concerto. The thing I remember about that was Fabio -- who's one of the great musicians I've met -- solfeged the entire clarinet part; he sang it, but he sang the do-re-mi-fa-sol syllables."

He sang the entire concerto?

"Yes. While he was conducting. So as far as being in awe of somebody, that was just another elevation of him in my esteem. ... He was good at [solfege]. If there was a solfege Olympics, he'd be there with a gold medal for Brazil."

On Donald Thulean: & r & "Don's programming was adventurous. He used to get hate mail for programming modern music: George Crumb, Elliot Schwartz. And on his education concerts in those [school] gyms, he was doing some social [commentary], things like [actor] Patrick Duffy reading Chief Sealth's speech to the governor with appropriate music. He had some ideas there that he was not hiding."

On Thomas Hampson: & r & "Tom has always been warm and unpretentious. And that recital he gave here [last November at the Fox Theater]? That was the greatest recital of anybody I've ever heard in my life. Honestly."

On Eckart Preu: & r & "We knew he was a great conductor, but we had no idea he was that wonderful with audiences."

On Dr. Hans Moldenhauer: & r & "After [1980], I became closer to Dr. Moldenhauer and read for him at least once a week, since his sight was impaired. ... I'd read music journals, some things in German -- I could pronounce it well enough -- and mountaineering stories. He was known as the mountaineer poet before he left Germany; he had climbed more than 400 peaks over 4,000 meters and had written a poem on virtually every one of his climbs. Plus, he'd taken pictures with a cumbersome camera with glass plates. Those plates still exist, in the archives ... Yeah, he loved to read about the [climbing] accidents and critique these misguided people who had accidents. And he told me about some of his escapades in the mountains. In fact, he encouraged me to climb, which I did, and when I got to the top of Rainier, he presented me with a poem that he had written and translated. I still have it."

On being concertmaster for 37 years: & r & "I was lucky to get to do it. Every year was different. There's always new experiences, new music, new people, new ways of doing it. You do a piece with one conductor, then do it with another. It's a fascinating existence."

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Token Democracy
  • Token Democracy

    Would letting Washington voters give taxpayer money to politicians reduce the power of interest groups — or just subsidize politicians?
    • Oct 20, 2016

    Breaking down some of the issues you'll get to vote on this year
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Shea's World
  • Shea's World

    As Matt Shea seeks re-election, his presence may be felt more in other local races than in his own
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ann Colford

Most Commented On

  • The Do-Over

    After failing to pass a bus service tax hike last year, Spokane Transit Authority has a plan to get you to vote for it again
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Pants on Fire

    U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to climate change
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


green zone


trail mix

Readers also liked…

  • 'Weak-Kneed'
  • 'Weak-Kneed'

    More fall-out for Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell; plus, Washington lawmakers debate voting rights
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation