We had our second and final concert with Nabil Shehata today. As with this whole week, it was wonderful to have his presence on stage. His grace and spontaneity made the music breath. It became a living practice to perform, not the mere result of rehearsal.
Every conductor and soloist brings something to the stage with them. For a week, or often times even less, we can grow closer to them and establish a trust that grows even more deeply during the concerts. It doesn't always happen, but it does happen often. And it's so strange to say goodbye to someone after such an intense but brief encounter. They usually take off right after the concert to get back to their country or onto the next leg of their tour. And somehow knocking on the dressing room door to thank them or get a picture is never really enough. It's too short, too awkward, far less sincere than the work that has preceded it and merited the gratitude. But it's something. Something to blunt the absurdity of the whole affair.
It's wonderful to meet so many people. I suppose it would be impossible to sustain such relationships in their full blossom forever. There needs to be room for more. And then a trace of blossomings, of gratitudes for one another.