1. James Judd renouncing his $250,000 annual salary to give
his musicians a 7 percent raise and ensure the Florida Philharmonic's
survival in the midst of a bitter strike.
2. The Florida Grand Opera's glistening productions of operas
at polar extremes: Handel's `Julius Caesar,' with counter-tenor
David Daniels spiraling in coloratura splendor; Tchaikovsky's
`Eugene Onegin,' with that ardent, eloquent, authentic Russian
3. The salvation of classical WTMI (93.1 FM), thanks to an
outcry from fans.
4. The Beethoven by the Beach Festival, with Judd's fiery
and noble `Fidelio'; his vaulting, deeply religious `Missa
Solemnis'; and victorious Ninth.
5. Arcadi Volodos, that Russian fireball of the keyboard,
taking your breath away, not only with crackling Horowitz
transcriptions, but with delicately probed Schubert.
6. Miami's on-again, off-again and now on-again Performing
Arts Center, and the continued uncertainty about having separate
halls to do symphonic and operatic music justice.
7. Renée Fleming's local debut, the luscious voice, the rare
songs by Glinka and Liszt.
8. Andrea Bocelli's attempt to become the Fourth Tenor, and
not quite making it. Some of his Verdi sounded creditable
as amplified in the AmericanAirlines Arena last spring, but
oddly less impressive on his new CD. It's closely miked, but
the strain is more evident.
9. The Miami Festival of Discovery
living up to its name by showcasing a wealth of young, less-known
pianists, from Russia's Denis Burstein to Italy's Francesco
10. The rise to international stardom of the Miami String
Quartet with a residency at Lincoln Center and, most recently,
Chamber Music America's prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award.