The program on Saturday was big and bold — at least for chamber music. But the biggest thing that happened at the Dock Street today was what transpired after that program starter. We’ve known since February that former Chamber Series director Dr. Charles Wadsworth had been voted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. But, so far as I can tell, it wasn’t until May 25 that Nina Perlove, the organization’s director, announced that the she would officially induct him into the ACMHF and present a medallion to him on June 2 at the 1 p.m. Chamber performance at Dock Street.
Wouldn’t you know it, I had no idea when it would happen, or even if it had happened already. So I was delighted and pleasantly surprised to observe the event in person yesterday. Let’s duck past the program’s opening music for now, so I can tell you all about it up-front.
After the thrilling opening music had run its course, host Geoff Nuttall (who had announced at the outset what was going to happen) called Perlove and Wadsworth to the stage, amid thunderous applause. Perlove proceeded to deliver the official speech, citing not only Wadsworth’s accomplishments as a world-class pianist and collaborator with many of the greatest singers, but as perhaps the world’s most influential and successful advocate and promoter of chamber music.
In the wake of more thunderous applause (and with a spiffy plaque in hand and a blingy medal around his neck), Wadsworth responded — with his usual humor and mock self-aggrandizement — with words to the effect that, “I am delighted and honored to accept this recognition. I would also say that I am humbled, but I don’t do humble.” I guess he’ll never change … but I don’t think we would ever want him to. You should know that, of all the ritzy places he could’ve had this ceremony (like New York’s Lincoln Center), Wadsworth chose Charleston and Dock Street.
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