At Saturday night's Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, Pacific Symphony Orchestra Music Director Carl St. Clair received a proclamation from the Orange County Board of Supervisors for his 20 years of conducting the PSO.
Once or twice in this space, I have been critical of St. Clair. One pet peeve was his addressing the audience before and during performances. I had written about seeing many of the great conductors perform but never hearing them address an audience. To me then, this seemed to be showboating.
My other observation was how images of St. Clair dominated the promotional material produced by the PSO's marketing department.
What I have failed to do is give St. Clair credit for taking an unknown and underachieving orchestra to national prominence. Under his leadership, the PSO has achieved numerous milestones, including its first European tour five years ago.