Photo: Maestro Goodman University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Bernard M. Goodman, Director
1964 South American Tour, “Virtual 40th Anniversary Reunion”
 

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Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 10:18:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Skidmore William <billytheskid@yahoo.com>
Subject: Unfinished theater

[Ed. note: Following an exchange of email about “where was the unfinished theater?” (which I think was the Teatro Guaira in Curitiba, Brazil), Bill contributed this astounding account of an event that I had completely forgotten about.]

...Then I remember that concert well. Remember, as we came to the hall there was a long line -- 3-4 abreast -- waiting to get into the hall when we arrived, and a military band was playing for them outside. The inside of the hall was just a shell with card table chairs set on the bare concrete floors and single bulbs hanging from way overhead down to the stage. There was a triple balcony, and the audience area was rather dimly lit. I remember that as we launched into Egmont a loud series of crashing sounds erupted and military police started running around and shouting (probably orders) -- some anti-American stuff as well. It settled down, and we finished the first half. When the lights came on, we discovered that the ruckus had been people forcing their way into the third balcony to see our concert (it had been barricaded because it was felt that its very steep floor would be unsafe for people to walk on). I remember people having crawled out onto the large, steel girders way up above us (at least 3 or 4 floors up)!

We played the Brahms Symphony II for the first time there, and it brought thunderous applause at the end. We ran every encore we had with us there. It was one of the high moments for me on the trip. Such wonderful enthusiasm from what must have been a large group of relatively poor people.

WS+

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