The Columbus Symphony Orchestra honored its maestro in true Columbus fashion last week at the final concert of the season. George Del Gobbo has been the conductor of the CSO for 30 years.
Del Gobbo is known for his confident leadership skills, immense knowledge of the orchestral repertoire, and for the humility and humor that accompanies him wherever he goes. His “Know the Score” pre-concert lectures are a Columbus staple with those who enjoy learning about the evening’s repertoire through the humorous perspective of the maestro himself.
To honor the decades of Del Gobbo’s leadership for the CSO, patrons joined in an effort to provide a new endowment in his honor. He was also presented with a portrait by local artist Garry Pound of him conducting the symphony in concert.
Cameron Bean, former Executive Director of the CSO, was instrumental in gathering support for the endowment. “The George and Sharon Del Gobbo Musicians' Endowment represents an institutional commitment to artistic excellence and a dedication to the musicians of the orchestra,” Bean said. “George has personified this commitment during his three decades of service to the CSO.”
Bean has lived in Columbus for years and has witnessed Del Gobbo’s influence on the arts personally. “George is among the illustrious group of arts and civic leaders whose lifetime of service to the Columbus community built the arts and culture scene we enjoy today,” he said.
Garry Pound was thrilled to have been asked by Bean to contribute to the effort to honor Del Gobbo. “I don’t know George well, but I have always admired what he has meant to the symphony. Our conductor has the kind of face any artist would love: full of character, vitality and animation. It was a joy to be asked to paint him, the only requirement being that his musicians be included in the portrait.”
Pound was present for the unveiling of his new portrait of Del Gobbo. “The presentation Saturday night was lovely,” he said. “George was self-effacing as usual, and Cameron Bean made him blush. I look forward to many more years with George at the helm. I just hope he knows how much he is appreciated.”
Bean was blown away by Pound’s portrait of Del Gobbo. “When I mentioned this to Garry Pound at his exhibition a month ago, he immediately expressed an interest in being a part of it. I don't think I even got to 'the ask.' He said something like '30 years is exceptional. I'd love to be a part of making his celebration even more special.' Garry is an incredible talent and captures the affection George has for the musicians so beautifully in his painting. Garry made the evening one that could only be described as breath-taking.”
Bean was eager to point out how the evening truly represented what Del Gobbo’s legacy at the CSO has been about all along. “The gasp heard from the audience as we unveiled his portrait reminded all of us of the camaraderie and love that is so present during artistic experiences.”
After hearing of the endowment and seeing the portrait, Del Gobbo said, “I don't deserve any of this. All this time” — he said of his musicians — they have done it all.”