Thomas McKenzie
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The Mick Jagger of Violinists

Tonight my wife and I went to hear the Nashville Symphony perform Beethoven's Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61. The soloist is a young man named Stefan Jackiw. And let me tell you, this guy is unbelievable.

Jackiw is a rock-star skinny guy dressed all in black, his shirt tails hanging out, and his shirt unbuttoned down a third of his chest. While the rest of the orchestra plays, he stands beside the conductor, watching him. Then he starts to sway with the music. A few measures before his solo begins, he puts his violin in place and points his toes, putting out one leg and then another.

When it is his turn to play, he rears up to his full height, closes his eyes, and moves like he is singing. The guy is like the Mick Jagger of violinists. The young, dancing, rocking, charismatic Mick Jagger. The music, especially his solos, absolutely soared. Transcendent, truly.

The Concerto with Jackiw is the first half of the night. In the second, they Symphony did a modern piece the "Metropolis Symphony" by Michael Daugherty. You might like it, I did not. I found it kind of funny, but basically stressful to sit through.

Here is my suggestion. My church is having an "in the round" on Friday night at 6:30. I'm going to that, and I recommend it. But if you are not going to that, or can also go out on Saturday night, it would be well worth your time and money to go see the Symphony this weekend, November 21 and 22, at 8 pm. Apparently if you come to the box office about an hour before the show starts, you can get leftover tickets for $15 a piece (we got ours early for this low price). For my money, I would even recommend just going to the first half and skipping out of the second for dinner or drinks somewhere.

You will not be disappointed.

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