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Emily Grossman

It Just So Happens

October 1, 2012 at 12:16 AM

We are going to strike while the iron is hot.

This week, I perform two Bruch viola/clarinet pieces, a movement from the Brahms horn trio, and Mozart's E minor sonata for Friday's annual Evening of Classics concert. After that, I will have some space freed up for new venues. What next, what next, now that I have a cellist from Anchorage in the picture? With the addition of cello, the musical floodgates have been flung wide, and I have no idea where to begin.

We emailed back and forth a bit about him making the trip down here to begin Beethoven's Op.11 piano trio. Lovely! And then Brahms next, right? Then, on a whim, I ventured to ask if there were any collaborating musicians up that direction that would be willing to let me join them in an ensemble. As it just so happened, he had a couple of people from the symphony lined up already. As it just so happened, they were a violist and a violinist, and if I came, we'd make a string quartet. They planned to practice on Mondays. And as it just so happens, I have Mondays off. Well, what are their names, I asked. As it just so happens, I'm already good friends with the violist. I sent her a note and asked if she was game. She wrote back with an enthusiastic yes.

I knew something great was coming, and I was surprised enough to have a cellist fall from the sky. But an entire string quartet, minus one violin? What are the odds of that? (I know a lot of people are reading this without lifting so much as an eyebrow hair, but they obviously don't know the difficulty involved in putting together a proper quartet, much less a quartet for a violinist in rural Alaska. They also don't know how long I've been waiting for this.)

This is simply too good to be true. We still have a lot of planning and scheduling to make it happen. And I hope everyone gets along. I'm so skeptical, thinking it won't actually come to fruition, but I'm going to go after it anyway, like my life depends on it. I was meant to play second violin in a string quartet; I've felt it like a calling. And I've never done it. Yes, I'm a 30-something-year-old string quartet virgin. (Shh, don't tell anyone!)

I hope they go easy on me.

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on October 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM
Yay, Emily! You didn't point out the geographic logistics but maybe it's obvious. Congratulations and best wishes.


From Emily Grossman
Posted on October 1, 2012 at 7:45 PM
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I'd explained it. The cellist lives in Anchorage, which is 150 miles from my home in Soldotna. He would like to come this way to rehearse trios with Maria and me, and I want to head that way to form a string quartet with him and two other Anchorage musicians. If it all worked out, it'd be once or twice a month for each. The drive is pretty sketchy in the winter.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I'd say you've got a good situation going! I find it not-too-hard to put together a quartet when there's a wedding to play (and $ to be earned), but when it comes to just reading the literature for the sake of broadening horizons, getting deeper into the literature, having fun, etc, etc, that's a bit more tricky to find four people with the time, inclination and all on the same wavelength!

From Emily Grossman
Posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Did I mention it's a bit tricky to put one together when there's no cellist? Have I said that already? ;)
From marjory lange
Posted on October 2, 2012 at 3:01 AM
all thumbs up.

enjoy the wealth--a new kind of gold rush?

From Emily Grossman
Posted on October 2, 2012 at 7:14 AM
More like a pot of gold. I'm the luckiest person I've ever met.

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