A Unique Self-Directed Columbus Symphony Orchestra Performance
Maestro Alessandro Siciliani is an internationally known composer and conductor who long led the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in Ohio as music director. Holding the baton with CSO from 1991 to 2003, Alessandro Siciliani oversaw a period of robust growth for an orchestra that recorded a pair of albums under his watch and celebrated its 50th anniversary with a 2001 Carnegie Hall performance.
Following his departure from CSO, the ensemble experienced financial turbulence and Maestro Siciliani renewed his connection with the organization in 2008, at a time when the upcoming season was facing cancellation due to contract issues. He took the podium in July 2008, for a CSO concert that was presented by the actual musicians in the orchestra, with the assistance of Women in Music Columbus.
In preparing for this unique and well-attended performance, Maestro Siciliani organized a program that included Rossini and Verdi overtures, as well as Sibelius’ tone poem Finlandia. A major hurdle involved accessing and compiling sheet music for the event, as the CSO library could not be made use of. As Maestro Siciliani described it, the performance was a challenge similar to cooking without all the ingredients on a list, but finding a way to “still make something great.”