March 2008

Brahms Sonata Cycle

March 31, 2008 10:56

For all of you v.comers in Northeast Ohio...

I'm playing the Brahms sonata cycle with Anita Pontremoli at Kent State University on April 24th - concert to be broadcast. Here is the interview, and I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Stay afterwards for a reception with lots of champagne :) :)

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As the Classical World Turns...

March 13, 2008 16:43

Hello, all! I apologize that I have been so remiss about blogging frequently, but I promise to get better! Life has been a bit hectic, but now that it is consistently 80 degrees outside, I just may find some more time to relax (and help makeover my site!)

It is ironic that I am welcoming the spring here in Dallas with open arms, when up north they were just obliterated by snow last week. Thankfully, we in the South only had a minor dip in temperatures and continued on our merry way! However, I am traveling to Cleveland next week, and am praying that the inclement weather is behind us.

Where do I begin? Last week I was in Austin for a performance of Mozart's 5th violin concerto with Robert Radmer conducting. It was a great experience - the drive there was leisurely, the hotel suite was uncommonly attractive, and Mr. Radmer was very sensitive and inspiring to work with. I played an encore (d minor Sarabande by Bach), and was able to meet some friends post-concert, some of whom I haven't seen in over five years! Austin-ites seem extraordinarily friendly, and they have a very active music scene. I can't wait to return--especially to that outdoor Jacuzzi!

I have the good fortune to collaborate with several singers this spring - let me tell you, this is an education in and of itself. As an instrumentalist, you try and emulate the human voice more than anything, and to rehearse with a very accomplished singer - it makes me reconsider tone production, sound decay, matching vibratos, and glissandi (sliding from one note to another). So, a big thank you to these wonderful singers who asked me to collaborate - I get quite a bit out of it too!

Recently, I have found myself becoming far more domestic and business-oriented than usual. Clearly, the most obvious side of this industry are the live performances, but there is quite a bit that goes on behind the scenes. For instance: a recent day found me waking up quite early (rather, early by my standards) for a rehearsal with piano after looking at a couple spots in the Stravinsky concerto; continuing on to about two hours of emails in straightening out next season; combine this with extreme allergies and a bad case of the flu; heading off to an outdoor photo shoot looking like Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer (or just death warmed over); a photo editing session; a lengthy conference call concerning press for an upcoming concert; discussions about website modifications and traffic (well into six figures now - thank you everybody!); and then the end of the day rolls around and I realize that I have hardly touched the violin at all! How nice it would be to never concern yourself with anything other than practicing/performing. Not to mention keeping an apartment organized and liveable - oh well. Back to reality...

The near future sees a bit of traveling - the next trip being to Cleveland's Fashion week shows next weekend. I'm also relearning the Brahms sonata cycle for a couple of performances. I never completely appreciated the second sonata (A major) before, but now have grown to love it. The G major is so intimate, while the d minor is brooding, lonely, and hormonal, while retaining a concise structure. Wait - am I blogging or writing program notes?! My next blog will probably be my program notes for the Brahms cycle - otherwise I will never complete them on time! Looking forward to each performance this well as the trip to the Cayman Islands in mid-May (moved from March). The other musicians are so talented and the chance to do some outreach there will no doubt be quite rewarding.

I hope everyone is having a productive and healthy March, and that you're all able to pick up some rays outside! I wanted to recommend 3 recordings that I think are the top 2008 classical releases so far: Julia Fischer's Mozart "Sinfonia Concertante"; Chee-Yun's Beethoven Triple (with Andres Diaz and Barry Douglas); and Evgeny Kissin's Schubert album. These three disks epitomize class, intelligent and moving interpretations, and utterly magical moments. Enjoy!

Yours from Dallas,


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