Columbus Symphony’s principal pops conductor returns for in-person Valentine’s concert

Posted on: February 12, 2021

“What is Valentine’s Day if you can’t share it with someone special? The Columbus Symphony wasn’t about to try,” writes Peter Toguette in Thursday’s (2/11) Columbus Dispatch (OH). “For its love song-filled concert Saturday in the Palace Theatre, the symphony will admit 300 socially distanced, face-mask-wearing attendees—marking the first time that Principal Pops Conductor Stuart Chafetz will lead the group before a live audience since the start of the pandemic. ‘I didn’t realize, until it was gone, how much of what I do is playing off the audience and their reaction,’ said Chafetz, who conducted the symphony’s ‘Holiday Spectacular’ program, which was recorded without an audience … [In] Saturday’s intermission-free concert, ‘An Evening of Romance,’ … leading a reduced, distanced ensemble of 22 symphony musicians, Chafetz will lead a selection of popular and classical music appropriate for Valentine’s Day weekend … joined by vocalists Scott Coulter and Jessica Hendy … and guest pianist John Boswell…. While conducting Marvin Hamlisch’s ‘Nobody Does It Better’ … Chafetz might have his own flashback to working with the noted composer when both were at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. ‘I can picture Marvin playing piano, playing the opening lick to that,’ Chafetz said.”