I'm about to head into my busy weekend.
I have Babies Proms to start off the day. These are a fun series of concerts that are put on by my youth orchestra that are designed to introduce young people to classical music. It's a hugely successful series, and they get sold out quickly.
Thankfully, they're all in the one place, and one after another, so I don't have to rush around at the start.
I'm there from 9am to 2pm. After this, I rush straight so that I can teach one of my students. He missed out on a lesson last week, so I've kinda got to make sure he gets this one.
Then I rush back to where I did the babies proms, as my Uni Orchestra is giving a concert outside and we've got to have a sound check at 5pm. Then I think I've got a bit of time for dinner before the concert.
Sunday isn't so busy, but I've got the babies proms again - this time from 9:30-2pm. Then a bit of time at home before getting up for church for my Palm Sunday serivce. Looking forward to that, since it's been about 3 weeks since I've been able to get to church, thanks to Uni scheduling rehearsals on Sundays.
The Golden Rule of Orchestral Bow Hair: You know that if you didn't break any bow hairs during rehearsals, you will break 5 or more during the performance.
For my up-coming concert, I have been informed that we are to wear dinner suits. I don't have a dinner suit, and I don't have a lot of money, so I thought I'd check out the op shops. They didn't have any - but I did manage to pick up some LP records that look rather interesting. All the LP's do not have any visible scratches, but I haven't listened to them yet to see if they're of any quality. But the names on the sleeves look like it should at least be worth listening to.
Pierre Boulez conducting Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Concertino for 12 instruments
Karajan and the Wiener Philharmoniker conducting Tchaikovsky's Ballet Suites
Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra with Vaughn Williams Sinfonia Antartica
Pinchas Zukerman and the English Chamber Orchestra with The Four Seasons
Sir Malcolm Sargent with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Choral Society, Elizabeth Harwood, Marjorie Thomas, Richard Lewis and John Shirley-Quirk with Highlights from Mendelssohn's Elijah
Anne-Sophie Mutter and Riccardo Muti with the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Mozart Violin Concertos 2 and 4
William Steinberg and the Boston Symphony Orchestra performing Holst's The Planets
Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade by the Concert Arts Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Hopkins with the Orchestral works of Percy Grainger
9 LP's for $22.50 - I'm pretty happy with that. At the moment, I still haven't got a dinner jacket, but we'll see.
I liked Ilya's performance... however one critic didn't, saying that it was a performance of violin playing as opposed to a performance of Tchaikovsky's music.
For me, it was an interesting interpretation, focussing on different aspects as opposed to the loud and magnificent that has been the norm since Oistrakh. I prefer the loud and magnificent still, however I still appreciate this interpretation for what it is, and would not say that it is a bad interpretation just for being different.
After the concerto, I went out to the stage door to wait for Ilya to come out and sign some signatures. There were a couple of other people waiting. We waited and we waited. The bell started ringing to call people back into the auditorium for the second half. Some of the people waiting gave up, but I didn't... knowing that I wasn't going to see the second half anyway because I was required outside in the middle of the symphony to prepare for handing out flyers for my University. It was paying for my ticket, so I was ok with this.
So I had a look inside when a door opened, and Ilya was there... so I called the girls back (knowing them... they're violinists, and one of them had come to my recital. I consider anyone who came to my recital a friend).
Eventually, he came out, and we got a few signatures. Here's mine:
The girls had also been closer to the stage than me, so after the concert, they went up to where he was performing and grabbed the bow hairs that Ilya had broken during the Tchaikovsky. They gave me one of them:
If I had, would I be as crazy as Bram?
Oh and in case any guys are wondering where else they can wear their Violinist.com t-shirts - the black one looks fantastic with a suit.
:> I just ordered my ticket to go and see Ilya Gringolts perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the WASO. I'm looking forward to it - and I hope I'll get the chance to meet him during intermission... Although I usually dress up to go to the Symphony, perhaps this time I'll wear my Violinist.com t-shirt...
No matter what it is related to - pain is rarely a good thing. Muscular pain can be ok, if you're working on building muscle because it means that the muscles are growing. But nervous pain (ie pain related to the nervous system) is never good.
Unfortunately, I have been getting nervous pain. Around September last year, I started getting it. It was a sharp, stabbing pain in my right wrist. Generally it would only occur when I was playing in an orchestra, and it would generally only come along towards the end of a 3 hour rehearsal. The pain went away almost immediately, but I found that if I kept playing, it would come back, and often hurt even more.
I went and had it checked out by my GP, and he sent me to have an MRI. He said that while nothing had shown up on the MRI, it was more than likely an inflamed nerve, and that I should take some anti-inflammatory pills, and lay off doing anything with the right hand while it heals (but he gave me permission to still practice the violin - he's a good GP like that... understands my needs).
After I'd finished the dose of anti-inflammatories, the pain dissappeared for a bit. Unfortunately it came back again last night.
I was in an orchestral rehearsal, our first one for the season (ending in a concert at the end of March), and just before the break, I got pain. I knew what I needed to do - go home, get some anti-inflammatory gel on it, and get a heat pack on it. I asked the conductor and he said that it was fine, that I needed to protect my health. I was just extremely annoyed at having to leave the rehearsal early, just because of this stupid pain that only occurs sometimes.
I still have no idea what causes it. It might have something to do with carrying heavy items with that hand (I had been carrying a bag full with sheet music for most of the day). In that case, it puts my new job in jeopardy - nightfill at a supermarket where I've been employed specifically to work on the heavy stuff - drinks, cleaning etc.
It could also be something to do with my bowing action, especially for the tremolo-esque stuff - eg the presto in the final movement of Beethoven 5. I shall be asking my teacher if she could look at my action, to give me any tips, and also asking one of my lecturers at uni.
It is something that I want sorted out, because I don't want to have to possibly leave rehearsals early due to pain. It's just not professional.
Well, I had my first lesson with my new teacher a couple of days ago. I would've posted sooner, but I've been rather busy. Here's what she's got me starting out on:
Summer by Vivaldi
Brahms' Scherzo from the F.A.E Sonata
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1
Choice of either Beethoven Sonata No. 1 or 5 (haven't decided yet, though I'm leaning towards 5)
She's also put me onto some Sevcik, and is changing my bow hand and my thumb position.
First lesson was really great - we ended up going for an hour and a half. Excellent :) I'm really looking forward to seeing how I progress this year, I feel that she's going to be able to push me along a fair way.
I've got the first rehearsal for the Uni Orchestra tonight. Program is Beethoven 5, Milhaud Percussion Concerto and Rodrigo Guitar Concerto. Should be good. Anyway, must get off to uni and get some practice underway.
No, I haven't just smacked that annoying fly that keeps buzzing around me, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and I'm supposed to hand in a one page dot point summary of mine by Monday. It's part of a "Communications" module - which is supposed to be basically teaching us skills for when we head out into the world. However, so far, I haven't been very good at doing this SWOT.
As is often the case, it's very easy to pick out the weaknesses and threats, but much harder to pick out Strengths. Thankfully, I've always been pretty good at picking an opportunity.
I think my biggest Weakness at the moment is not knowing where I want to go. Sure, I would love to be able to get into an orchestra, but I realise that that may not be possible right out of uni... in fact, more likely than not, it won't be. So I need to find a way to make some money, and still be involved in music, but that might not necessarily be performing.
In fact, I know it won't be. I've discovered that my strengths are much better suited towards something other than performance. Something more like Concert Promotion or Artist Management. I am very good at thinking up what I want to achieve, and then working out what I need to do to get there. I know that I'm charming, very good at networking, have a fairly logical mind and I'm technologically savvy (in fact, my website is being hosted on my home computer). I think these strengths would suit me well towards being a concert promoter and artist management.
So I'm going to head down this path. I'm going to complete my Bachelor of Music, because wanting to focus on Classical music artists and concerts, having a knowledge of Classical Music will allow me to work for them better. I'll know the sorts of things they'll want, and what it takes for a performance to go smoothly, as opposed to a contemporary music performance.
One of the best things of being a Concert Promoter, is that I can bring over the artists that I want to hear, and get to work with them, and hear them for free! Awesome!
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