On Saturday night we taped an episode of the radio show at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston. It was bittersweet for us because we dedicated the show to one of the major forces behind From the Top, Francis Hunnewell, who passed away last week. He was a huge supporter of young musicians, and the wonderful kids performing in his honor created a touching and fitting tribute.
Saturday was also an example that in show business anything can happen but you must carry on. Our production manager Elizabeth DeVore, who was injured while loading in the equipment, speaks to that in this video clip.
18-year-old cellist Bobby Chen opened the show with a gorgeous performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capriccioso. We were then introduced to 16-year-old violinist Gergana Haralampieva and 14-year-old pianist Phuong Nghi Pham, both of whom shared inspiring stories of immigrating to the city of Boston from their native countries.
Following their performances, we were reintroduced to Matthew Muckey, an extraordinary trumpet player who was originally on our show in 2002 at the age of 18. Back then he played Arban’s flashy Carnival of Venice and spoke about his unusual pet – a shaggy donkey named “Jasper.”
Matthew has done pretty well for himself since then. Now 25, he is the associate principal trumpet player in the New York Philharmonic! Of course, when he arrived at rehearsal for our show he was bombarded with questions about scoring such a phenomenal gig right out of college. As for me, I rushed up and breathlessly asked him about Jasper. I was relieved to learn that his hairy donkey is still alive and kicking (though greyer and shaggier than ever).
During the show, Matthew wowed the audience yet again, this time showing a more melodic side of the trumpet with a piece by Oskar Boehme. The show closed with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra performing the overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, an exciting ending to a wonderful taping. Make sure to tune in when this show airs the week of March 29th.