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Jean Yves-Thibaudet Party Showcases Prodigies, Fun and New State-of-the-Art Sound System
Sunday, January 27, 2019


Dan and Martine Drackett first thought of staging a concert featuring young musical prodigies in their living room.

Then they thought better of it.

Why not stage a concert at the new Argyros Performing Arts Center, they decided, and invite 300 of our friends and arts supporters?

The intimate concert they staged ended up featuring renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who had performed in concert the night before. And it became one of the first to fully embrace the new art center’s much talked-about Meyer Constellation System.

The party also featured a lavish spread of curry chicken balls, bacon-wrapped nibbles and chocolate cream puffs catered by Rasberrys.

“We wanted to set the Argyros apart as a place where every time you go something fun happens,” said Martine Drackett, whose husband Dan was among those that brought the center to fruition. “I love the joy of everyone who comes here and the quality of everything here--the happiness of the community.”

Workers just finished installing 84 speakers around the center’s Tierney Theatre this past week, said Michael Hoover, the events manager. R.L. Rowsey lined up musicians from the Sun Valley Summer Symphony School of Music and a few bands to play while staff fine-tuned the distances to get the sounds they wanted.

And Samuel Mollner combed through thousands of pages to dial in the lightning in the center, which will very likely become the show place for others considering the new state-of-the-art technology.

All will get a workout at the symphony’s inaugural Winter Music Festival the third week of February, promised symphony Board Member Carol Nies.

“We’ll be doing various kinds of music so you can experience the sound in various configurations from  feeling as if you’re sitting in a cathedral to a dance club to a concert hall,” she said.

 “The Thibaudet concert was unbelievable—the sound was so cleear,” added Jane Rosen. “This is a fantastic venue.”

Tim Mott, who recently assumed the executive director role at the Argyros, seemingly agreed.

“This is a fantastic venue that many of you had a part in creating,” he told the audience. “Now we’re at the point you can benefitting from all that.”

 He patted the shiny Hamburg Steinway small concert grand donated to the Argyros by the Dracketts.

“This is an extraordinary piano and it’s going to get a workout,” he said. “And we’re celebrating the commissioning of the Constellation Sound system, which makes it sound like we’re in a small cinema music theater. You’ll notice I’m not using a mic on stage. My voice is audible everywhere.”

The students from the Colburn School in Los Angeles couldn’t have given the new sound system more passionate workouts.

Eighteen-year-old Samuel Glicklich was extremely emotive as he performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Chaconne in D Minor for Violin,” beads of sweat rolling off his nose. Glicklick, who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Music Festival, then joined Thibaudet for Maurice Ravel’s “Ma mere l’oye” piano duet.

The performance was so seamless that Thibaudet frequently cast smiles acknowledging Glicklich’s  proficiency in the young man’s direction.

Sanga Yang, who first performed with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra at 12, joined Thibaudet in performing Camille Saint-Saens’ “Romance for Cello and Orchestra in F Major.”

And violinist Zachary Brandon fourth place laureate in the 2016 Stradivarius competition, played an electrifying “Carmen Fantasy” on his 1844 J.B. Vuillaume violin. So into his playing was he that he looked as if he was being electrocuted at times.

The program concluded with Felix Mendelssohn’s “Trio No. 2 for Piano, Violin and Cello in C Minor,” featuring Thibaudet, Brandon and Yang.

The Colburn students came to the Dracketts’ attention through Thibaudet, who lives in Los Angeles and is serving as the school’s artist-in residence. Now, Dan Drackett serves on the board of the school, which includes a college preparatory program and dance institute. And the Dracketts and Sun Valley residents John and Carol Moran support the Jean-Yves Thibaudet Scholarships for Colburn School Music Academy students.

“I think it’s so important to be able to give an education to these students,” said Dan Drackett.

~  Today's Topics ~

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