Today is Dave's actual birthday - Happy 58th Birthday to him! - so although we had a little celebration at our house yesterday, it continues on here today.
After we'd already made a plan with Claire to celebrate him at home on Sunday, she found out about something special happening in Ostrava on this day, his birthday, that she thought he'd enjoy a lot.
She was definitely right!
This is the Svatováclavský music festival that is in its 16th year in the greater Ostrava area.
In the month of September there are 32 sacred and classical concerts performed in churches in this region. As an international music festival, they bring in performers from around the world to places like this, the Hussite church near downtown Ostrava.
It was really special to be here, looking at the front and seeing the verse, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" from 1 Corinthians 3! I wonder what other people thought as they sat waiting for the concert to begin.
We invited our friend, Shelby, to come join us for this birthday concert!
She is on JV staff as International Fusion director, and is herself an absolutely gifted pianist! I'm so glad she could join us for this exquisite musical experience tonight.
The trio, "Z.E.N." performed for us - a group composed of an American violinist, an Armenian cellist and a Chinese pianist. I really CANNOT SAY ENOUGH about how amazingly they performed tonight! If you love classical music, look them up! Their music was absolutely brilliant!!!
After their nearly two hour concert, including an encore that was electrifying, they gave their final bow and the church began to empty.
But Dave, led us to the front so Shelby and I could see the handcrafted Austrian Bösendorfer piano that had been brought in specially for this pianist. New, the piano retails for somewhere around $200,000. Their pianos actually go up in price to $500,000! It was a treat to see one in person (though we didn't dare touch it!)
Do you notice anything unusual about it?? It has four extra keys (see the black keys?) in the bass than a regular 88 key piano! I've never seen that before and was glad Shelby could tell us about it! They actually make another piano with a full extra octave in the bass, giving it 97 keys.
The Chinese pianist played it so powerfully!
Dave even talked with the musicians for a little bit, finding out they'd been in Aspen, Colorado earlier this year for a festival!
What a huge blessing to hear such a moving and beautiful concert on this day we're celebrating Dave, who can play all three of the instruments those musicians were playing (though he'd tell you, not very well! But still! He can play them!).
Dinner in the food court of the mall rounded out our happy celebration of Dave!