Most people have it in their minds that New York and Los Angeles are the places to be to experience the arts. This line of thought needs to change. Not because I would like to see Dallas up there with the ranks of LA and NY, but because we have the talent to back it up. Recently, someone said to me, “Dallas will catch up in five years. You know how sushi was popular in LA, and then it slowly made it’s way to Dallas? It’s like that – people will realize how cool Dallas is in about five years.” But why would you wait that long if you knew the artistry was here – present day – and you could have access to super cool creative artists who turned down those ‘other cities’ to be here in Dallas. Right? Read on.
Friday evening, October 22nd, and I’m ditching the gym to go backstage at the Meyerson Symphony Center knowing I am about to shake the hand of Jaap van Zweden, a famous Dutch music director. New York wants him. LA can’t have him. And why would a man, musical talent flowing out of him like the long sigh of a French horn solo, elect to be in Dallas? “[Dallas is] my other home. It’s not my second home, it’s not my third home, it’s my other home,” he explains.
Tonight he is preparing to conduct Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1943 hour-long Eighth Symphony with the DSO, and members are tuning their violins to the perfect pitch as the woodwind section warms up their fingers. I haven’t picked up my clarinet since I was about fourteen years old, and I’m feeling slightly inadequate standing onstage with such exquisite musicians. “They are hard workers, they are great musicians, and we have an incredible relationship onstage with each other,” says van Zweden of the DSO. After 110 seasons, the gorgeous melody of the DSO rings through the halls of the Meyerson under van Zweden’s direction, and Dallas can claim this performance as all its own.
Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.