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Classical Notes

Menlo: no one's anonymous

Posted at 10:38 AM on July 27, 2006 by Brian Newhouse (1 Comments)
Filed under: Concerts

It was just a little side comment, but it opened up this whole festival for me. I was talking with Patrick Castillo, artistic administrator for Music@Menlo, and mentioning how much the Festival seems to have grown since I was here two years ago. Three weeks of concerts instead of two, over 100 volunteers instead of a few dozen, a burgeoning cadre of interns who want to learn festival-izing from these pros...Menlo is bigger than ever—oh, and every concert is immediately sold out. In the parlance of Silicon Valley (where Menlo's nestled), all of this means that demand is ahead of supply, a metric the Valley learned the hard way a half-dozen or so years ago. So with growth all around you, Patrick, whats next? Just more and bigger?

He smiled and looked out the window. "One of the things that makes this all work is the scale. For now, it's small enough so that no one's anonymous here."

I love that. No ones anonymous. You see one of the world's greatest musicians in intense rehearsal with a group of 18-year-olds, or the lead administrator helping a cellist schlep his instrument and a clutch of music stands across campus before a concert, and a dozen similar acts of community every day. You're known here. Can you say the same of your workplace? If not, why not? And is "we're too big" a very satisfying answer?

Music@Menlo may become the next big American music festival, just as big Aspen or Marlboro, but for now small is definitely beautiful.

Listen to previous years' concerts

Comments (1)

I just discovered these concerts. Thank you for posting them. I'm new to classical music in general and chamber music especially and I'm enjoying them.

Posted by Ron Price | August 1, 2006 12:32 PM