amateur n. .1. A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession. [from Latin amator, lover, from amare, to love.]
The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra is an amateur orchestra in the highest sense of that word: they love playing music.
And make no mistake about it, these amateurs are not dilettantes. While they're not getting paid for their work, many in the group have the same conservatory training that professionals receive. And at a time when both professional orchestras in the Twin Cities are locked out in a labor dispute, now is the time to discover the musical riches of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
We talked to conductor Bill Schrickel (himself a professional bass player in the Minnesota Orchestra), and got a sneak preview of this weekend's young cello soloist Ben Osterhouse.