Tisha B’av, the 10th Anniversary of the I35W Bridge Collapse, and the Sorry Story of Monostatos’ Orchestra –M4B*

On August 1 of this year we commemorate, or really mourn, the ancient solemn day of the destruction of both the Jewish temples — the First by Babylonians, the Second, by the Romans. It is the saddest day in Jewish history.  Other tragedies have occurred on or near this day.  Ironically, this year is the tenth anniversary of the terrible and unanticipated collapse of the I 35W bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Minneapolis and St.Paul.

I had traveled on that bridge just about every day preceding the collapse, as my daughter and her family — with our shared dogs– lived on the other side of the river.  She, along with my two sons, their families, and I, flew out of MSP to DC for my Mother’s birthday party on August 1, 2007.  We were, in fact, rehearsing for our performances that evening when we were told the shocking news.  There was no cable where we were rehearsing, and phones and the internet were bogged down.  We frantically looked for photos and information about what had happened and why.

Mr. Vanska, and his sidekick, Mr. Schrickel (who had a tangential connection to my family) were also apparently overwhelmed with the seriousness of this tragedy, as Mr. Vanska then composed, and Mr. Schrickel –with the Metropolitan Symphony — performed a piece called “The Bridge”.  Did they consider at that time that there might even be a deeper significance to this terrible event?  It’s hard to tell…

Now, almost five years after the lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra players, and the ongoing lockout of me, the Other Mozart, are they starting to make a connection? In fact, on this day in 2013 I mailed a letter to Mr. Vanska, asking to be heard in the place where I had once been enticed by Mr. Shrickel and his cohorts to practice on the darkened stage.

Does anyone in Monostatos’ Orchestra have a conscience?  Does anyone care about the people of Minnesota who have given them their trust and their money, not to mention their loyalty?  Is there any chance that at some point they too, as did Gustav Mahler (whom they have programmed prominently for the next season) call out — in his final words — “Mozart!  Mozart!  Mozart!”?

*M4B=Mozart For Believers

 

 

 

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