After an Orlando Philharmonic Board meeting, board members and friends of the Philharmonic were invited to sit on stage during a rehearsal for a concert of Russian Masters on October 30th at 8 PM at the Bob Carr. Christopher Wilkins who has just signed a five year contract to conduct the Philharmonic, talked for a while about the concert and introduced the pianist for the evening, William Wolfram. Christopher explained that Shostakovitch's Symphony No 5 in D minor is one of the iconic symphonies. The other piece to be performed was to be Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2 in C Major. When the Pianist William Wolfram was out of the room, Christopher explained that he and the pianist had worked together several times but this was the first time the pianist would have performed in Orlando. Chris also said that in the past the Pianist had played a practical joke on him and that tonight he hoped to play a practical joke in return. In the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto, Chris asked the whole orchestra to play their parts a quarter note higher than it is written in the sheet music. That way when the pianist, began to play his part, it would sound all wrong. The practical joke worked as planned. When William Wolfram began to play the piano part, the conductor had to stop everyone and he said to the pianist, "Well these things happen". What was fun was that the rehearsal came to a screeching halt a second time before the pianist realized he was being toyed with. He and the conductor shook hands and had a good laugh as did the whole orchestra. The pianist then stood up and began jokingly walking off stage saying "Well goodnight everyone."
There were 3 rehearsals for this concert. One rehearsal was canceled in order to save money. The Philharmonic is proud to have balanced it's budget as of June 30th of 2009. Next year the Phil will be staging several partially staged operas to help keep opera alive as an art form and to nurture the community's passion for opera. Carmen and Porgy and Bess will be staged with the orchestra being placed on the stage rather than hidden in the pit.
As the orchestra began to perform the Second Concerto, Christopher Wilkins interrupted and shouted out" You have to be more forceful. You have to punch it in the face!"