Bill Sprague was 14 years old when his youth orchestra conductor put him in line to audition for an open spot with the Omaha Symphony. Fifty-five seasons later, Sprague and violinist Norma Nummela will take their final bows this weekend in a concert featuring pianist André Watts.
For 65 minutes Saturday night, Neil Sedaka guided the Omaha Symphony and a packed Holland Performing Arts Center through a fun and tender tour of his best songs about young love, lifelong love and lives well-lived.
A few years ago, The New Yorker's classical music critic Alex Ross called German composer Felix Mendelssohn “the most amazing child prodigy in musical history,” and then detailed why Mendelssohn, and not the most famous child prodigy in musical history, Mozart, deserved the title.
If the Omaha Symphony's task Saturday night was simply to accompany any one of the hundreds of movie musicals, the reviewer's task would simply be to comment on its competence — and especially its precision — in doing that job.