"Ni hao, Zheng Zhao," Music Director Lawrence Golan said into the microphone at the beginning of Concert #1. The audience erupted into applause so uproarious that it felt like a sporting event, not a classical music concert.
Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya watched the news and was ready to scream. As the refugee crisis mounts globally, but especially in the Middle East and Europe right now, American politicians and pundits voice xenophobic, anti-immigrant rhetoric with increasing volume.
After witnessing EFME’s Executive Director Michael Staffeldt and his two-man team perform the Herculean task of organizing, administering, and conducting a breadth of musicians and technicians, I was astounded by both the caliber of musicianship, and the remarkably high production value of the event. Immediately following that dress rehearsal I pulled Michael aside, congratulated him, and expressed my desire to participate in EFME’s future.