Volume 4 / Chapter 161
[TN: Maestro Jun]
The media that believed that one of the top conductors in the world would quit an orchestra because of one song and Jun Hyuk who believed it became laughable.
Money and their view on music were the factors that split up the conductor and orchestra. The Philharmonic is too large to fight over one song.
“That’s that. Isn’t it around time that your traveling will become boring?”
“No. It’s so good I could do this for 10 years.”
He showed a little disappointment when Jun Hyuk said that he likes it.
“Is something going on?”
“I wanted to go to America with you.”
“Yeah. I accepted an offer from the Boston Philharmonic.”
“Oh, then are you going to be Boston’s maestro?”
“Ha ha. Why? You thought I would have been out of a job? As soon as the article saying I left the Vienna Philharmonic went out, I got over 10 calls with invitations. I’m that good.”
“Ha ha. I see. So is Boston your final choice?”
Boston Philharmonic is in the fall season with regular performances from December to May. There is also a short summer season called Tanglewood that runs from July to the beginning of August.
Tanglewood, or Tanglewood Music Festival, is one of the largest music festivals in New England along with the Newport Jazz Festival. Located 2 hours to the west of Boston, Tanglewood is in Lenox where author Hawthorne of ‘The Scarlet Letter’ wrote ‘Tanglewood Tales’.
In 1936, the Boston Symphony Orchestra opened its first performance on a hill with a small and shabby house. In 1940, Russia conductor and composer, and contrabass player Serge Koussevitzky established a music summer camp for 300 young musicians. That was the beginning of today’s Tanglewood Music Festival.
The zest that can only be experienced at the Tanglewood Music Festival is of listening to world class music while surrounded by beautiful nature. Finding a comfortable and appropriate shaded area to lie on the grass while listening to the classical melody brings a different kind of emotion and awe.
Patrick Quinn had become the maestro leading the Boston Philharmonic starting in the beginning of August, once the summer season has ended.
“Yeah. Boston is the only place that accepted my condition.”
“Performing Inferno. If performing it is hard, then recording an album. That was my first request, and Boston accepted it without another word.”
Along with New York, Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, they are the 5 orchestras of America called the ‘Big Five’. The Boston Philharmonic has an audience of all ages because the citizens of Boston have great interest in the orchestra and there is a high ratio of students in the city.
Due to the young audience, there were a lot of experimental performances and they released a lot of contemporary music albums. Since 2009, they even have their own record label called the ‘BSO (Boston Symphony Orchestra) Classics’ that releases records and has a digital track download system.
The Boston Philharmonic was expecting a record of Inferno to become a big shot. The Boston Philharmonic and Patrick Quinn’s understanding had fit exactly.
“Do you have a second condition? Like an incredible salary. Ha ha.”
“Of course there’s a second. That’s not money but you, Jun.”
“Excuse me? Me?”
“Yeah. The condition was that you could conduct the performance or recording of Inferno. What do you think? Don’t you want to give up your travels? Ha ha ha.”
Jun Hyuk did not understand what Patrick Quinn meant exactly. Could it be?
“Jun, I would like to perform this song no matter what. But what I want more is to hear it.”
“You want to hear it?”
“Yeah. Not imagining the song while reading the score, but it’s music that I want to hear for myself. That’s why my second condition was you. So I could listen to it.”
Patrick Quinn is saying that he would lend Jun Hyuk the luxury instrument, the Boston Philharmonic, to perform the song himself.
“What do you think? Would you want to fulfill my ambition?”
How does he need to respond? Patrick Quinn’s suggestion shook Jun Hyuk up.
“Take your time to think about it. Since the season begins in December, think about it until then.”
His hesitation meant that Jun Hyuk was already leaning towards doing it. Patrick Quinn thought that it would not be long before he could hear Inferno with his own ears.
Life is a series of choices. After enjoying fall in beautiful Europe and going into winter, he was thinking of going down south. He wanted to go to warm southern Italy and take in the Mediterranean wind to see the Italian opera’s unrealistic true background.
Conducting the Boston Symphony. And traveling the Mediterranean as a symbol of freedom. There is of course Amelia as well.
He was going to make the decision all on his own.
He could start traveling again later. The opportunity to conduct the Boston Philharmonic disappears the moment someone releases a record of Inferno. And there is something that people still do not know. If he adds all of that together, now is his chance.
But it is possible that the Boston Philharmonic is unable to perform Inferno. When Jun Hyuk thought that it may be impossible to perform the song, he thought about whether they would be able to release a record.
Surprisingly, choosing is not hard. Choosing is only difficult when someone has trouble finding determination. Determination is easy with courage as well.
Jun Hyuk took out his cellphone.
“Maestro Quinn. I’ll meet you in Boston.”
Jun Hyuk turned the camping car around and headed back in the direction of Zurich. He sold the camping car for nothing and got on a plane to Boston.
Jun Hyuk really was not a star. No one knew his name. The stars were ‘Inferno’ the song and Jun the name. No one recognized him when he bought his airline ticket, got his boarding pass, or when he went through procedures for coming and going.
When using the name ‘Jun Hyuk Jang’, he is just a young Asian boy.
When he arrived at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport in Boston, a woman in her mid-30s, wearing a dress, was waiting for him.
She must have used the photo on Patrick Quinn’s to learn his face because she raised her hand as soon as she saw him.
“Maestro Jun. I’m Tara Butters of the Boston Philharmonic. Call me Tara.”
“Excuse me? Maestro? I can’t handle that. Just call me Jun.”
“No, I can’t do that. You are a guest conductor for the Boston Philharmonic. Anyway, I don’t know how long it will be for but I am going to act as your secretary while you are here. It’s an honor. Please let me know if you need anything.”
There was a limousine waiting outside the airport.
“Shall we go to the hotel? We have made reservations for you at the Plaza Hotel. We can move you somewhere else if you find anything uncomfortable, so just tell me.”
Do maestros always receive such treatment? He could not tell if it was out of genuine admiration or firmly placed custom, but he did not think he could ever get used to it.
“No, let’s go to the hotel later. I’d like to meet Maestro Patrick Quinn first.”
“Alright. Then we’ll be going to Boston Symphony Hall.”
If Tara Butters had acted less like a secretary, they would have been able to have a conversation in the limousine. But Jun Hyuk completely shut his mouth and looked at Boston out the window.
“Um, Maestro. Can you take a look at this?”
“What is this?”
“A contract. I know you have a secretary, but don’t know her contact information. Look over it and if you give me her information, I’ll take care of it. It is the standard contract for visiting conductors with Boston Philharmonic. I will go over the details with your lawyer.”
“Alright. This is her phone number.”
Jun Hyuk found Lim So Mi’s number in his phone and handed it over to Tara.
Tara jotted the number down and pressed a few keys on the phone before handing it back.
“I saved my number as well. Call me at anytime if you need anything.”
Jun Hyuk could not shake the feeling that he might be bothered a lot by this woman named Tara from now on.
The Boston Symphony Hall, completed in 1900, is an impressive building reminiscent of European architecture and was selected as a National Historic Landmark. It is famous not just for the exterior, but as the concert hall with the best sound conditions in the world.
He shook when he entered this historical building for the first time. He is not a tourist or someone here to see a concert. He is here as a performer to stand on the stage, and to conduct the orchestra at that.
“Maestro Jun. Maestro Quinn is in rehearsal at the moment. He told us to go straight to the concert hall. What would you like to do?”
This woman’s timing is on point. She even takes away the time that he can stand back to be in awe. His shaking halted completely.
When they entered the main concert hall, they could see Patrick Quinn conducting a Tchaikovsky piece on stage.
He saw Jun Hyuk, put the baton down, and hugged him.
“Oh! My friend, Jun. Welcome. Do you know how much I’ve been waiting?”
Past Patrick Quinn’s shoulder, Jun Hyuk could see over 90 orchestra members looking at him.