Someone pointed out today that I haven’t really written about Alma Deutscher and her opera Cinderella.

Let me start with this confession: when I heard we were doing an opera by a twelve year old prodigy I thought, “How hard can it be? This will probably make my December relaxed and easy. I’ll skip Nutcracker and do this little opera called Cinderella!”

Oh how wrong I was!

But back to one possible reason I’ve not written since we began.

Maybe I’ve not written a lot because I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around these past weeks (or a bit longer, if we include the Symphony Silicon Valley concert). Working with someone who is a mere twelve years old but writes music that hits my heart is difficult to fathom and I honestly don’t know HOW to write about it.

The music is frequently lovely. It is creative. It can make us laugh and it certainly causes me to want to cry (for good reasons, mind you). And then there are moments where what it does harmonically is quite surpising.

In the finale melodies from earlier moemnts come back and fit together. Magically.

And then there is Alma the instrumentalist. She plays violin. She plays piano. And in the finale she plays … wait for it! … organ.

This is an experience I won’t ever forget. It’s quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for this sixty-one year old. After all, it’s doubtful I’ll be playing too much longer. Then again, wouldn’t it be delightful to do this each December?! Or perhaps Alma will enjoy her experience enough with us she’ll write another work and we will premier it. I could live with that!

If you didn’t get to attend the opera you can see and hear it online through March 21, 2018. How about THAT?! Just go here.

Alma is, as I’ve mentioned an ancient twelve now. When she was eight she did this:

Side Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention working with that wonderful Jane Glover has been fabulous! She doesn’t settle for “close enough”. She is clear and let’s us know what she wants. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to play under her excellent direction.


  1. Hi, Surely a musical genius of our time, so glad to have followed her musical progress, (thanks to youtube) and have seen her opera in California (thanks to Medicci tv). I have survived into a truly amazing time.

  2. Brilliant post. Thanks for sharing your experience of Cinderella and working with Alma. Those Deutscher sisters are just gorgeous, and so talented. Previous century composers may have had trouble getting their talented sisters on centre stage, but Alma will always put Helen there! It’s an honour just to know of them both.

  3. Alma was a true delight, and working with Jane Glover was amazing!

  4. It was just wonderful to work with Alma and see her lovely sister on stage as well! Both are charming!