Mahler 5 Benefit for Make-A-Wish Foundation®
Photos and Audience Letters

Photography by Jaka Vinšek

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Maestro Hong,
I don’t believe we have ever heard Mahler’s 5th sound better than we did last night when One World Symphony under your leadership performed it in Manhattan. The fact you had only three weeks prep time is astonishing, judging from the quality of the orchestra we would have thought you had three months of rehearsals.

One World Symphony is a wonderful gift.

Dear Sung Jin and Adrienne,

Thank you!!!! For that wonderful performance. The adagietto was some of the most ravishing music I’ve ever heard. (Other than Mahler 3, of course)

What a gift those people received to hear such a good performance and from so close. They were a good audience too!

I forgot to get a program! Sorry to ask but could you possibly save me one?

Dankeschoen fur das!
Froehliche Weinachten!

Dear Ones,

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance tonight. Mahler 5 is a very difficult symphony and I heard performances where even “great” orchestras struggle with the demands of the work. You did an admirable job and some moments were unbelievable and how amazing and clear it sounded. I do have some suggestions and I hope you will consider them. I didn’t get a program, so please have enough programs at your concerts. I’ve been enjoying Mr. Hong engage the audiences before he conducts. Can he consider having pre-concert talks with guests? Instead of frequently performing Richard Strauss, can you please consider performing Mahler more? There were many stirring moments tonight, and we showed how much we appreciated and loved your Mahler with cheers and hearty standing ovation.

Thank you for the group back rubs and the sing-along and the gift of marvelous Mahler during the holidays.

Last night was some of the more riveting Mahler V performances I’ve heard. The connection between the first two movements and final two movements had intense dramatic tension and connection that I rarely hear. It really felt like there were three parts instead of five movements. The entire performance moved along with a natural flow with expansive breath and viewpoint.

The brass glowed and sounded more uniformed than the strings. This may have been due to where I sat, which was a foot away from the violins. I am probably not the exception here, but I would have been happy to hear the first part again as an encore. It was awesome!

Congratulations to your Mahler Miracle Monday!

That was not a perfectly executed performance, but it was one of the more profoundly inspiring experiences of Mahler I’ve encountered. I prefer it if somebody misses notes than plays perfectly but has nothing to say. The performance of the First Part alone was an epic journey. The human and emotional struggles that you discussed were clearly expressed with glorious and expansive sounds without the grotesqueness and exaggerations that I hear with many overripe Mahler performances.

I heard this was your first performance of a Mahler symphony. If so, it’s long overdue and I hope you will begin a complete cycle of his symphonies and song cycles. You and your orchestra have something to say with meaningful impact. Do we hear a tradition of Mahler instead of Messiah in December?

Your principal bass player rocks! I really enjoy watching him play and how he gets into it so much that his instrument moves along with him.

Hello, I am very taken with your organization. I only just discovered you. I saw Mahler 5 at Holy Apostles church this week. Lovely concert!

I can help back stage, at reception desk, ushering, organizing, as you need me. I can assist on days of concert and perhaps other things outside performance time. Please let me know how I can fit into this fantastic organization on a voluntary basis.

I am impressed how you feel the pulse of the audience. I could tell that you had planned an activity for us when you came out. You sensed that many of us just wanted to hear Mahler, but you seduced and warmed us with group massages before the sing-along. Very savvy.

The Mahler was AWESOME! What better orchestra performing Mahler whose music represents the entire world and universe than One World.

Tonight was not just a concert — it was moving, musical, Mahlerian experience.

I am astounded that you had only two rehearsals for Mahler 5. I saw a lot of new players, but the sound of the orchestra and the overall performance blew us away, as usual. I also enjoyed reading your letter relating Mahler 5 to Nietzsche, Superman, Judaism, and German nationalism. I thought you were going to discuss it at the concert, but I guess you wanted the music to speak for itself. It sure did! The Superman moments were unforgettable. You and the orchestra flew, but of course, without capes. It was breathless and awe-inspiring.

Loved the music and the interactive portion of the program :)

Your revelation that you had only two days to prepare for the Mahler event is mind-boggling. You seem to have a gift that allows you to get the best performance possible out of your artists in a very limited period of time.

You are amazing, indeed. No exaggeration.


Monday, December 20, 2010 SOLD OUT
Church of the Holy Apostles