Saturday, June 7, 2014
The contemporary sounds of Omaha’s Summer Arts Festival surrounded and invaded the Holland Performing Arts Center on Friday evening. But they couldn’t penetrate the Peter Kiewit Concert Hall, where the weekend’s heroes were receiving their just honors.
That’s where the great pianist André Watts fronted Ludwig van Beethoven’s celebrated “Emperor” concerto with dignity and a powerful grace, helping the Omaha Symphony and Music Director Thomas Wilkins tie a ribbon on a memorable 2013-14 concert season.
And it’s where Wilkins, wrapping up his ninth Omaha season, thanked the symphony’s fans for their donations of more than $100,000 to the symphony during the recent 24-hour Omaha Gives fundraising event for local nonprofits.
The roots of the word “symphony” allow it to be translated as a “unison sounding together,” he said. “But I submit a symphony only sounds together when there’s an audience. … As we end another season, we want to say, ‘Thank you for loving this orchestra.’ ”