It is a wonderful thing when members of the community join together to recognize a person who has contributed to the fabric of life in a city, and many of us did so tonight. The occasion was the retirement celebration for Martha ("Marty") Jones, who is leaving her post next month as head of the Celebrity Series of Boston after 25 years of service. Entitled Mad about Marty, the evening comprised a concert of visiting artists and a dinner.
The Celebrity Series is a non-profit organization that brings performing artists from around the world to perform in Boston. It also supports arts education programs like Ailey Camp for children in the city. I have been fortunate to be on the Board of Trustees since 2004.
I am able to offer only these rather impressionistic photos from my old cell phone, as I was trying to catch images in a dark theatre from a distance. Among those artists on hand tonight who donated their time and talent to pay tribute to Marty were a trio of David Finckel (cello) and Philip Setzer (violin) -- one half of the Emerson Quartet -- and Wu Han (piano), who played parts of the Schubert Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Opus 99.
Wu Man also showed up, playing the pipa. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has four strings attached to a pear-shaped wooden body, with a varying number (12-26) of frets. I include a video below to give you a sense of the sound of this instrument and a sample of Wu Man's skill and talent. If you cannot see the video, click here.