Life and death

David and I attended an interesting as well as moving Hawaii Symphony concert last Sunday.  It featured a Concerto for Koto with full orchestra.  A koto is a stringed zither that is popular in Japan.  I thought the concerto was great and it held our attention.

Here are photos of the conductor, Naoto Otomo, and the koto artist, Yumi Kurosawa:

Koto Concerto 002-A

After intermission, two musicians appeared in front of the audience.  They announced the untimely death of Steve Dinion, who had played the timpani in the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years.  He died of an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  In his memory, the orchestra performed an Enigma Variation by Elgar.  A spotlight shone on an empty chair, draped in leis, symbolizing the absence of the timpanist.  It was a very touching tribute to a fellow musician.

David recalled meeting Steve Dinion, when they were on jury duty at a drug trial in Federal Court in 2002.  At the time, Dinion was a vegetarian and was very thin.  Who would have predicted that he would die of cancer twelve years later?  So sad.

The rest of the concert was awesome.  We loved Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, especially the pizzicato movement, when the stringed instruments were plucked with the forefinger instead of bowed.

David and I left the Blaisdell Concert Hall, feeling refreshed and buoyant.

P.S.  Steve was 46 years old when he died.

9 Responses to “Life and death”

  1. DJan Says:

    It just reminds us that it could happen to any of us, a car accident or a fast-moving illness, causing an untimely death. There are no guarantees, are there? Sounds like you are enjoying yourselves, and that’s a good thing. I am busy appreciating the moment myself! 🙂

  2. granny annie Says:

    It must have been a treat to have met this talented musician while on jury duty. I always enjoyed serving on jury duty for that very reason.

  3. DeniseinVA Says:

    A very moving tribute to Steve Dinion. The concert must have been amazing.

  4. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Two thoughts. I wonder if the musician Kurosawa is related to the famous director? My sister had this Lymphoma. She’s in remission but having all kind of problems associated with chemo. If we live long enough, cancer will claim most of us because so many other possibilities have been eliminated. Okay, that’s three thoughts.

  5. Suzanne Says:

    So young. Nice they gave him such a lovely tribute.

  6. mageb Says:

    That’s way too young. Perhaps death’s like this, and of my best friend at 50, are why I volunteer at the American Cancer Society Discovery shop here. Lovely post.

  7. Kay G. Says:

    I love the leis draped over an empty chair in tribute, that is a lovely way to honor him.
    I love Tchaikovsky, just love everything by him.

  8. Beatrice P. Boyd Says:

    A moving tribute and unfortunate that this talented musician passed so young.

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