Well, I was going to do a “highlight of the month” post, but then I realized there have been so many highlights this February, it’s been practically defaced with bright yellow sharpie! So, in recapitulation:
I had a fantastic time playing violin with Wild Up and Chris Rountree on their Salt Lake City tour stop back at the beginning of the month. It was an exciting program of diverse work representing the manifest influence of music on actual worldly change (i.e. political and social). We played works including Rzewski, Eastman, Oliveros, Tenney, Knowles, and Wild Up member Adrianne Pope. The most difficult piece was by far Louis Andriessen’s Workers Union, a masterpiece of chance-based minimalism. It was especially difficult for me for a number of reasons, one of which was that I received the music only a few days before the concert. Though I’ve written and studied such notation before, I’ve never actually played it, so this experience gave me a lot of sympathy for the players I’ve subjected to demanding aleatory! As a classical musician, I’ve spent so much time training myself to prepare while I’m playing or conducting; be it cues, shifts, bow distribution, or tempo change (etc.), I’m always thinking ahead. This is absolutely impossible with Workers Unions, and in fact is almost prohibited. Reading fast-paced rhythms, remembering repeats and meter changes, AND making up the pitches simultaneously?? It’s a lot to ask and is a dangerously complex combination of otherwise simple things. Ultimately, it was a rewarding experience to learn the piece and play alongside professional musicians. We all failed and recovered together! I’m grateful for their patience and endless energy.
Visited Baltimore this weekend to audition at the Peabody Conservatory! Unfortunately, didn’t make it to the Edgar Allan Poe museum, but I did go to the Walkers Art Museum in search of inspiration (found disturbing Medieval torture allegories instead, but hey, cultural experience). Was also able to see a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert with the ineffable Conrad Tao, who not only paints the most colorful canvas one’s ever seen of any concerto, but also creates music with a deep figurative understanding of the universe. Met with the composition department and the fabulous Joseph Young.
AND last but certainly not least… my big weekend with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has finally arrived!!!!!!!! (and yes, I understand that is an excessive amount of exclamation marks, but a well-deserved indulgence in this case). Rehearsals with the fabulous Tito Muñoz started today, despite blizzards and sudden illnesses, and we will have concerts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will be getting to do the preconcert lecture I’ve always dreamed of doing, as well. The livestream will be available at this link and I would so appreciate your digital attendance! Hope you can tune in. 😀 😀 😀