Local Classical Featured Artist – 08/21/23 – 09/03/23
This week’s playlist is especially important. We’ll honor the life of Marianne Williams Tobias who we lost on July 12th. She will always be remembered as a major figure in the musical life of Indianapolis. For decades her lectures, concerts with ISO musicians, and program notes for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra delighted audiences and received consistent accolades. In an interview for NUVO magazine she was described as “Carrying the Banner for Classical Music” and was quoted “Classical music, for me, is a way of life.” She never wavered. In Maestro Raymond Leppard’s book Making Music, he wrote that “Marianne instigated a new sort of programme note, wittingly written, which instruct and amuse, to quote Addison’s ideals of the eighteenth-century Spectator. She is one of the mainstays of life in Indianapolis music, a dear friend, pianist, author, and altogether a superb person.” On April 25, 2014 Mayor Greg Ballard named this day as “Marianne Williams Tobias Day” in Indianapolis. Marianne was trained as a pianist, first appearing as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at age 12 under the baton of Fabien Sevitzky. She concertized as a soloist and chamber music pianist throughout her life. She was a regular guest and music critic for radio station WFYI for over ten years on “The Listening Room,” and program notes contributor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Music Society, and Arabesque Recordings in NYC. She was the resident program annotator for the ISO for over 35 years.
It was the Marianne Tobias Music Program at Eskenazi Hospital which was deeply significant in her later years. This program grew to provide over 150 free concerts annually, and she loved to say “We are the only hospital in the United States which needs a resident impresario”. The live concerts were streamed into 489 patient rooms at the hospital. She became a leader in the new field of music pharmacology, and with Dr. Malaz Boustani initiated a program at Eskenazi Hospital, which examined and researched the positive and direct effect of music frequencies on the human brain. She was fascinated with the actual chemical changes in the body generated by music frequencies, which could affect neurological and balances, relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, relieve chronic pain, and can generate specific hormones in the body.
In this playlist, we’ll hear Marianne Tobias as a pianist with The Indianeapolitan Players, and recordings by the ISO with commentary coming straight from Marianne’s program notes. That and much more on our Local Classical channel.