Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beethoven Lives Upstairs

I remember being a kid and passing by the circular, mirrored building downtown Toronto and wondering what it looked like inside. Last weekend I finally got my chance. If you've never been, and ever get the chance, get yourself to Roy Thomson Hall. It is so beautiful, warm and luxurious that you can't help but feel impressed long before the music ever starts.

Years ago, before Alex was even born, I had heard that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra held a children's concert series. Though I enjoy classical music I have only had the privilege of hearing it live in very small all-purpose venues so I knew this would be a real treat. I was so excited knowing this year Alex would be old enough to appreciate the experience. He went to his first concert in October with a family friend when Rob and I couldn't make it. This was my turn and I have been waiting anxiously, not just to attend but to see this specific concert and I was not disappointed.

The boy was completely spellbound throughout the entire show. He sat leaning forward in his chair, eyes wide and sparkling, clapping enthusiastically every chance he got. It is a lovely story about a young boy named Christoph who exchanges letters to his uncle about a frustratingly loud and tormented tenant who lives upstairs. Eventually Christoph comes to understand Beethoven and appreciate the genius of this man who created such beautiful music.

Alex left the music hall humming Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and I left counting the days until we were back again. This has definitely become a must-do activity for our family. Next year Izzy will be able to join us and we'll make it a real family affair.

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