Udagawa marks 20 years with Melrose Symphony, as orchestra nears its 100th

Posted on: August 17, 2017

“As the Melrose Symphony Orchestra prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary with a special concert next month, conductor Yoichi Udagawa is marking another milestone: the end of his second decade with the beloved organization,” writes Conor Powers-Smith in Monday’s (8/14) Melrose Free Press (Danvers, Mass.). “ ‘The orchestra was great when I got here…. I just hope I’ve added something to it,’ Udagawa said … He decided on his future career … as a child growing up in Texas… ‘My parents used to drag my brother and me to the Austin Symphony.… Although we loved music, we didn’t always love going,’ he said. But … when a new conductor, who happened to be Asian American like Udagawa, took over [says Udagawa], ‘It was an ah-ha moment.’ … Udagawa [studied] with masters like Seiji Ozawa and Gunther Schuller…. Melrose audiences aren’t just large, Udagawa said, but eager to learn, an interest he fosters by mixing lesser-known works in with the great compositions…. For musicians as much as audiences, the payoff of years of hard work is the chance to momentarily experience a rare and transcendent beauty.” Says Udagawa, “I think that’s what the Melrose Symphony is about, and I think that’s why it’s been around for 100 years.”

Posted August 17, 2017