Beneficiaries of Anna White’s indefatigable involvement with Central Indiana’s arts community streamed to Hilbert Circle Theatre on Jan. 27. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor laureate Raymond Leppard, presented a spirited program of some of Anna White’s favorites.
On reflection, the works spoke to her quarter century of service with a wide range of organizations. With all due respect to the excellence of the musicians (comments to follow), of special note was the suave participation in Haydn’s Toy Symphony in C major by representatives of the 11 groups on whose boards White has been serving. (An emissary from Young Audiences was not included).
Since this group may never again have the opportunity to play together, NUVO would be remiss not to note them: Glen Kwok, International Violin Competition; Jeffrey Patchen, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Janice Virgin, Dance Kaleidoscope and Brett Waller, Indianapolis Museum of Art; John Pickett, Indianapolis Opera and Helen Small, American Pianists Association; Ramona Baker, Arts Council of Indianapolis and Joyce Sommers, Indianapolis Arts Center; Lloyd Wright, WFYI-Teleplex and John Vanausdall, Eiteljorg Museum; Richard Hoffert, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. An ISO ensemble of strings accompanied.
There is some question among musicologists whether Haydn actually wrote this work of whimsy, designating it instead to Mozart’s father, Leopold. No matter who composed it, it’s sheer fun, and exemplifies White’s abilities to bring together disparate artists and arts groups for the benefit of the community. The ISO acquitted itself particularly well in Elgar’s excerpts from The Wand of Youth Op. 1, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol Op. 34 and Ott’s “Molto cantabile e dolcissimo” from Music of the Canvas.
James and Anna White commissioned the Ott work in 1990 for the opening of an exhibition at the IMA. Anna White retired as executive director of Young Audiences of Indiana and still serves on the boards of several arts organizations.