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Andrew Sords

Exhausted, yet content...

May 20, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Wow, I don't know where to begin. Life has been going about a million miles an hour, and only after this weekend does it begin to slow down. Last week, I was in the tropical paradise known as the Cayman Islands, performing chamber music and doing masterclasses. Words can't describe the bucolic scenery, translucent ocean water, and succulent native food. The Islanders (generally of British or Dutch descent) were very hospitable and eager to have us there, as it seems like the arts are a semi-rare occasion there. I hope to return in the upcoming season, and perhaps see more of the island. We remained mostly on the south and west ends (Seven Mile Beach, I believe). Anyways, the performances generally went well, though there were about 5 in four days. Now I am back in Cleveland preparing for a benefit recital on Sunday, with works of Schubert, Mozart, Fein, Chopin, and Brahms. This summer, I will be serving as guest concertmaster for a nearby orchestra, as well as going to Taos, Dallas, and northern Ontario in July. Most of all, I'm looking forward to poolside recreation, finishing my book list (just finished Titus Andronicus), and picking a summer musical project (perhaps the Elgar or Joachim concerti).

The past few days saw me connecting with some Cleveland/CIM friends. This is a rare privilege, as I am usually gone when they are in town. The staff at the Winking Lizard, City and East, Yours Truly and others have come to see us on a fairly regular basis. Tonight, I'm tuning in to watch the American Idol finale (a guilty pleasure of mine), and figuring this Schubert out. Schubert is one who I always want to tackle, and then regret it later as his music is so difficult (at least for me) to have a convincing phrase structure. In addition, he (like Tchaikovsky) is sometimes long-winded in his ideas, and sustaining even my attention for the duration takes work.

While tooling around Cleveland, I have been studying Julia Fischer's Brahms concerto and double concerto album. Is there a recent violin recording of these works that is this lucid, commanding and intelligent? Congratulations, Julia - I cannot wait for your Blossom debut here in July!

Next season's schedule is almost completely up--just waiting on a couple of repertoire and contractual ideas to be concluded. Check out the calendar portion (,com_events/) of the site for more details. Next season's concertos are all blockbuster standards (Brahms, Bruch, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart 4), with some recitals thrown in (I'm thinking works of Grieg, Nielsen, Beethoven, and of course, continuing the Brahms cycle). Additionally, I'm hoping an orchestra will ask for the Beethoven "Triple" Concerto (any takers?) :)

I hope everyone is having a fabulous month of May, and that you are all looking out for the summer schedule of an orchestra near you! Look out for performances of Julia, Stefan Jackiw, Andrew von Oeyen (a piano phenom I met in Reno), and, of course, The Cleveland Orchestra. :)

Happy Almost Summer,


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