Today we’re talking about finding resilience in the face of adversity and the healing power of music.

Something that I haven’t shared in the past couple of shows is that for the last three weeks, I have been going through radiation treatments to get rid of some basal cells on the tip of my nose. And, while the experience on some levels has been rather harrowing, I have to say that my doctor, Dr. Lean, and her staff are amazing – particularly, Jason Norby.

I was recently talking with them about how our theme for the show this fall is resiliency. Jason shared with me a Finnish word that I’d like to share with you before I bring on my guest, Nancy Laturno, because it ties in so beautifully with resiliency. This is a Finnish concept called “sisu,” which can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. 

It’s not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. If you’re still not quite clear on what this word or concept means, you will be after you meet Nancy, because she could be the poster girl for “sisu!” Nancy is the CEO of Mainly Mozart, whose famed festival boasts top-level players from the world’s greatest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and dozens more. 

For over 30 years, the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra has been home to the largest gathering of Concertmasters and Principal Players in the United States, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and quarantine protocols were put in place, they quickly had to learn how to adapt to all of these new changes.

Nancy shares how rather than taking a hiatus when all of the orchestras in the world were sitting quiet, Mainly Mozart found a way to keep the music alive and get these sidelined artists back on stage, and they made history as the first arts organization to perform live classical music in front of live audiences since quarantine began.

Mainly Mozart quickly grew from producing one orchestral festival a year for the past 32 years, to doing five festivals over the past 12 months featuring their All-Star Orchestra. Now, Mainly Mozart is moving towards doing three festivals a year, which Nancy says they would have never had the opportunity to explore if it had not been for COVID.

We have all had to continue adapting because everything we think is unimaginable is what becomes our daily routine.”  –  Nancy Laturno

About Nancy:
Image of Nancy Laturno - CEO of Mainly Mozart - on Change It Up Radio with Paula Shaw

Nancy Laturno co-founded Mainly Mozart in 1988. Under
Laturno’s leadership, Mainly Mozart has grown from a two-week
festival into a year-round producer of world-class orchestral and
chamber music concerts, youth orchestra, outreach for students
and adults, and innovative programs such as Mozart & the Mind.
She is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s strategic,
artistic, and operational planning and implementation.

“It was our plan just to do one performance, which turned into 10, which turned into 50. We just kept going. And it wasn’t a business model that we spent time building, it was just the right thing to do to bring these sidelined artists back to stages.” – Nancy Laturno

Check out the video below to watch our interview:

Resources Mentioned:

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