November 15, 2008 at 9:59 PM
Greetings from Boise, Idaho! It is a gorgeous day here - no clouds in the sky, visibility extremely clear, and everyone seeming in good spirits. I have thoroughly enjoyed this trip to the Northwest, and the Boise Philharmonic members are extremely gregarious and play quite well together. Not to mention, I'm here with one of my favorite people - conductor Robert Franz. Life is never dull collaborating (and seeking out phenomenal restaurants) with him!
The last four weeks have been a blur. Concerts in Ohio, Texas, Idaho, and New England next week (Brahms concerto - I am excited!) I must recount a story from Ohio two weeks ago, however. At a concert in Mansfield, there were several hearing impaired children sitting in the front row. Following the concert, I met them and (with the help of their teacher/companion as translator) proceeded to ask about their favorite instruments, their ages, etc. I knelt in front of them, placed a girl's hand on the scroll of the violin, and played some Bach. Their reaction almost moved me to tears, and I was thankful that the charming students could be involved in the music-making through the vibrations from the instrument. I'm STILL impacted by that today. I feel so lucky to be a musician and bridge languages and other barriers through the simple joy of music.
I think most artists are breathing a sigh of relief after last week's election results. Finally, there is someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. that cares about the NEA and arts programs in schools! I'm very optimistic for the next four years.
The last two months, I have been very fortunate in taking in a number of excellent shows and performances--two comedies, a burlesque show, concerto performances by Midori, Karen Gomyo, and Horatio Gutierrez, several student recitals, and others. My head is full of music--but refreshingly so!
My next four weeks aren't slowing at all, as I'm continuing the pattern of a different state each week. I am looking forward to a Thanksgiving break of relearning some unaccompanied Bach, Kreisler and Ysaye for a solo recital. I suppose I'll stuff myself full of good food that week as well!
I'm going to go sit in the outdoor hottub now before warming up for tonight's concert...I fly back to Dallas tomorrow for 12 hours before heading up to New Hampshire first thing Monday. I look forward to the masterclasses I'm giving in the Portsmouth area, and to meeting the violin students!
Best wishes for a safe and thankful November,