Baseball Fever Sweeps Dallas Symphony

In his review of last Thursday’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra performance, FrontRow music critic Wayne Lee Gay noted that co-concertmaster Nathan Olson sported a Texas Rangers ball cap at the beginning of the evening’s performance. Yesterday, in the New York Times, David Waldstein writes more in-depth about the symphony players’ love of the ball club.

[Cardinal’s pitcher] Lohse, preparing to throw a critical pitch to Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers in the second inning of Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night, stepped off the rubber and wiped his brow before leaning in again for a new sign.

“Hurry up and throw the ball,” yelled the principal French horn player, Gregory Hustis. “Don’t they know we have a concert to play?”

But before Lohse could throw the pitch, Scott Walzel, a bassoon player and the personnel manager of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, corralled his fellow musicians and ushered them to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center stage.

When the players made their way to the stage, Olson tipped his Rangers cap to the sound of applause and laughter, and then flipped the cap around so the Rangers’ emblem faced the audience as Olson led the orchestra’s per-performance tuning. Waldstein then has some kind words for what happened in the Meyerson, including glowing praise for pianist Joaquín Achúcarro, but the best parts of the article happen off stage:

As the musicians poured back into the lounge, the game had changed drastically and St. Louis was leading by 8-4 in the fifth. But as they pushed their way into the room, immediately asking colleagues for the score, the Rangers mounted a small rally, scoring two runs as cheers erupted, mostly from the brass section.

The woodwinds and cellists remained skeptical.

Read the full piece here.