When Die Walküre meets Den Schneesturm

…the blizzard wins.

Here in Milwaukee we’re having the first day of rehearsals canceled for snow that I can remember. We had a run-out to Green Bay canceled due to snow a number of years ago, but given that traffic was moving at 25 mph on the freeway and Green Bay was 100 miles away, that made sense. And of course it was re-scheduable.

This is different. We’re doing the first act of Walküre this weekend (as well as the Beethoven 4th concerto with Emmanuel Ax, assuming he can get here), and had two much-needed rehearsals scheduled for today. Yesterday management cancelled today’s morning rehearsal and extended the afternoon one. This morning management canceled the afternoon rehearsal as well and extended tomorrow’s rehearsals a bit (and will provide lunch backstage between services; a nice touch).

We’re not the only orchestra affected, of course; The Cleveland has canceled their appearance tonight in Chicago and are no doubt enjoying a snow day in Ann Arbor (not nearly as snowy as here, though). I’m sure that lots of our Midwestern brethren and sistren are struggling through conditions similar to those in my front yard (the slight depression in the picture is the approximate location of my driveway):

We’re pretty hardy folk in the upper Midwest, but 15 inches of snow coupled with 50 mph winds force even us to keep our heads down.

About the author

Robert Levine
Robert Levine

Robert Levine has been the Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony since September 1987. Before coming to Milwaukee Mr. Levine had been a member of the Orford String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, with whom he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and South America. Prior to joining the Orford Quartet, Mr. Levine had served as Principal Violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for six years. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, and the Oklahoma City Symphony, as well as serving as guest principal with the orchestras of Indianapolis and Hong Kong.

He has performed as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, the Midsummer Mozart Festival (San Francisco), and numerous community orchestras in Northern California and Minnesota. He has also been featured on American Public Radio's nationally broadcast show "St. Paul Sunday Morning" on several occasions.

Mr. Levine has been an active chamber musician, having performed at the Festival Rolandseck in Germany, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, the "Strings in the Mountains" Festival in Colorado, and numerous concerts in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee. He has also been active in the field of new music, having commissioned and premiered works for viola and orchestra from Minnesota composers Janika Vandervelde and Libby Larsen.

Mr. Levine was chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians from 1996 to 2002 and currently serves as President of the Milwaukee Musicians Association, Local 8 of the American Federation of Musicians, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras. He has written extensively about issues concerning orchestra musicians for publications of ICSOM, the AFM, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and the League of American Orchestras.

Mr. Levine attended Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland. His primary teachers were Aaron Sten and Pamela Goldsmith. He also studied with Paul Doctor, Walter Trampler, Bruno Giuranna, and David Abel.

He lives with his wife Emily and his son Sam in Glendale.

Leave a Reply