By Caitlin Custer
Violinist Angie Smart arrived in Rock Hill to play for a local family, which included Rebekah Coste, founder of St. Louis Moms Blog, her husband, daughters, and parents. The guest of honor was Rebekah's mother, Christine Taussig Sasse, who was the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra's first concertmaster in the 1970s.
Sasse grew up in St. Louis, joining the YO in its inaugural year. She went on to earn her B.M. in violin at the Eastman School of Music, as well as her M.M. at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. In addition to performing with many orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, and Rochester Philharmonic, she has taught violin at several universities, joining the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2006.
As Smart unpacked, she chatted with the family, exchanging warm memories with Sasse about the YO’s 50th anniversary Alumni Play-In concert this past winter.
SLSO On the Go, a series of chamber ensemble and solo performances by SLSO musicians given at outdoor spaces throughout the St. Louis region, connects listeners with world-class music in their neighborhoods.
The performance began with Smart standing in the Coste's driveway while they watched from camp chairs on the lawn. Explaining a bit about the SLSO's On the Go program, Smart mentioned that she had been doing concerts like this for most of the summer, adding that it was a different feeling to be playing for a fellow violinist.
Smart started the program with a movement from Bach's Sonata No. 3, explaining that she'd learned it recently, "almost by osmosis," as her son, another former YO concertmaster, was preparing for his college auditions.
She continued with a work inspired by Bach, Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 2. "This piece was written 300 years after Bach's E Major Partita. Ysaÿe even starts with the same music, but then goes off in a completely different direction."
Offering a varied sampling of violin repertoire, Smart’s concert also featured Elgar's Salut d'amour and a Piazzolla Tango Etude. Noting how nice it was to play for an audience again, she closed with a classic tune fit for Coste’s older daughter—who was clearly delighted to be wearing her favorite princess dress—Tchaikovsky's Waltz from Sleeping Beauty.
Caitlin Custer is the SLSO's Communications Manager.