Any Cowtown native is familiar with the iconic image of the limestone angels, trumpeting high (well, not so high) above the cityscape. Sometimes called the gem of Fort Worth, it's pretty hard to find under the multitude of skyscrapers. But it is culturally rich all the same - just a few paces from the famous Flying Saucer and Sundance Square, it's one of the many locales (Man with a Suitcase, a huge modern-art structure that sometimes even stupefies the locals; the Water Gardens, a free-admission, open-to-the-public park with artistic water fountains, and the stuff-yourself-to-death-while-starving-your-pocket Texas de Brazil, among hundreds of other restaurant sweet spots, too many places to list) that make downtown such a fun place to be.
I don't mean to make this post resemble a travel brochure, but I can't help but love Bass Performance Hall.
Jazz, classical, comedians, dramatists, any kind of auditory art can be found at Bass Hall. There, on the corner of 4th and Calhoun, I saw my very first piano concert, when I was nine. The pianist was Olga Kern, performing with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra shortly after her famous Van Cliburn win. I don't remember what she played, but I can honestly say that I have found such expression and musical passion rare.
And then there was the time I saw Nelson Freire, the Argentine pianist. His rendition of Chopin's Funeral March (WWE fans can remember it as The Undertaker's theme) brought chills and a profoundly dead silence throughout the entire hall. I can still remember how the bass was so evocative of tolling bells in the distant horizon.
And, more recently, I, and eyes younger than mine, have seen the pianist superstars Lang Lang, Rudolph Buchbinder, and Yundi Li perform in that same hall, and be inspired all the same.
It never fails - as I enter to see the velvet-clothed ushers, tall, curved ceilings, finely dressed clientele, marble floors, and bright atmosphere, I can't help but get goosebumps. I still dream of playing there someday, with the multitude listening with their person and observing with their ears.