October 2010

Life of a Deflating Violinist

October 3, 2010 09:34

Now that it's been a small fraction of eternity, I've decided to update this blog.  This summer ended up being an interesting summer where I did almost nothing of what I planned.  In total, I had one lone violin lesson.  It wasn't completely intentional, but I just didn't feel like it was something I needed to do this summer.  Instead, I just practiced and I practiced really whatever I wanted.  I worked my rep for my recital a little but not all that much.  I also took about a month off from playing...I'm fairly certain I was burned out from last year.  During this time a miraculous thing happened: my intonation seems to have nearly fixed itself.  According to Dr. Kim, my intonation is miles better than it was just 4 months ago...even though I have done nothing completely intentional to make this so.  I played violin the community theater production, Oklahoma.  It was fun and it was nice to do something outside of the classical music realm.  Otherwise, I worked in the music office on campus this summer, which resulted in a ton of painting and organizing of the orchestra library.  

I've decided that I'm not going to attempt the second masters degree idea.  I find myself somewhat bored with the classes here and I don't have any desire to take further history classes at another institution while all I really want to do is accumulate more violin rep.  In the end, I also decided I would like as much consistentcy as possible going into DMA auditions.  So, I've instead decided that staying here at USD would be the best option, though, in case this is completely unfeasable, I would like to audition at UNI.  I would still consider this consistentcy as I've studies with the violin teacher there before and enjoyed it very much.  I've already decided where I want to look for the doctorate.  My top three schools are UNT (Julia Bushkova), UW-Madison (Felicia Moye or David Perry), and FSU (Corrine Stillwell).  I'm guessing that I'm going to send pre-screenings to 5 or six and would like to round this list out with Indiana or CIM (I doubt I have a prayer but it would be nice to have a "shoot for the stars" school) and Ohio State University.  Other schools on my list include the University of Minnesota (Sally O'Reilly), University of Colorado at Boulder (Linda Bahn or Oswald Lehnert), University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Marjorie Bagley or Fabian Lopez) and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Sherban Lupu or one of the Pacifica Quartet violinists).  The main problem is that many of these schools have different audition requirements, like the post 1950's piece at Boulder and the Sonata requirement at Inidiana. 

On a personal note, I have lost 40 pounds!!  It feels so nice to have accomplished something which I have struggles with my whole life.  I still want and need to loose more weight but I have the confidence to do it.  Actually, I think this weight loss contributed to my improved intonation because my fingers shrank a bit, making the left hand mechanism work better.  I achieved this weight loss with healthier food and lots of long bike rides and walks.  Apparently the freshmen 15 applies to the first year masters students as well...cause I gained weight in my first year here.  But, now I weigh a little less than I did my last 3 years of undergrad. 

Back to the violin.  I have a recital this year and I'm really excited about the rep.  Barber violin concerto, Brahms G-major Sonata, Bach g-minor sonata (Adagio and Presto) and the Prokofiev Solo Sonata.  As many of you know, I've worked on some of this in the past but since I took the summer off from serious playing, I hardly touched most of this stuff.  So it's back to the drawing board for the Prokofiev and the Bach.  I can already play the first movement of the Brahms relatively well and hack my way through the Barber.  The exposition and recap are going well in the Barber but the recapitulation is not going so swimmingly, it's just awkward for me.  But I'll get it learned and hopefully to the tempo of the rest by my lesson this week, I have until Thursday.  I'm also doing this for a concerto competition or two and need to get everything really well memorized by the middle of the month...even though my teacher gave me til the end of the month, I just really want it memorized.  I'm hoping to begin the second movement this semester, which I think is absolutely gorgeous.  I'm not so sure about that third movement, I know I need to study it but it's the most daunting of the three movements from a technical point of view.  

Last night was the first concert of the season for the Sioux City Symphony with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway.  It was a good concert but I felt like we weren't playing as well as we could have.  We did Beethoven Symphony No. 5, which is well known and makes it a dangerous piece.  The audience received it well.  This wasn't my best performance, which was disappointing because I was playing it well at the dress rehearsal but somewhere along the afternoon and night, I lost my energy.    The next concert is all movie music, which should be fun and some of the music is actually fiendishly difficult.  Thanks John Williams and your Harry Potter score.

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