My earliest memory of attending a live classical music performance is watching my mom play the violin in Menotti's opera Amahl and the Night Visitors.
I was about four years old, and this was my first concert. On top of that, it's a special memory because I remember my mom smiling at me from the stage.
Here's a New York Times article on Menotti, who died yesterday at age 95. Notice the irony of his comment in 1964: Among the avant garde, he noted, “To say of a piece that it is harsh, dry, acid and unrelenting is to praise it. While to call it sweet and graceful is to damn it." In his own operas, Menotti "dared to do away completely with fashionable dissonance, and in a modest way, I have endeavored to rediscover the nobility of gracefulness and the pleasure of sweetness.”
Pulitzer Prize Winner Gian Carlo Menotti Dies at 95
Nancy Pearcey is author of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity and editor-at-large of The Pearcey Report.