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Emily Grossman

Four Calling Birds

January 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM


Did I tell you what I got for Christmas? It was the best present ever, even better than a pony. I've asked for years now, and though most people thought I was joking, a few took me seriously, and finally someone took some steps to make it happen.

I got a string quartet! Kevin shopped long and hard around Anchorage in search for just the right violinist and violist to complete the set. After all, finding four people with similar skills and ideas, amiable personalities, well-balanced group dynamics, like-minded goals, and work schedules with the same free time is about like... well, let's just say, if I wasn't before, I'm a firm believer in Christmas miracles. We met for the first time last Monday, and I can already tell that I like them. We move fast, too! After opening our first session with Shostakovich's 8th string quartet--talk about ice breaker!--we sight-read the Borodin nocturne, closing the rehearsal with the first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and promptly proceeded to book our first wedding gig in February. I'm getting up extra early tomorrow to make the drive through the mountain pass to Anchorage for our second rehearsal, to sight-read a couple of wedding anthologies and sketch out possible repertoire for a summer concert.

My very own string quartet... Best Christmas present ever. It's like, if the ship sinks, I at least know I'll have a quartet to keep me company on the way down now. After all, nothing beats playing good music with good friends.

From Randy Walton
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM
I'm really happy for you and your new partner. Is "Four Calling Birds" the name of your quartet?
From Ellie Phillips
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 9:05 PM
I cannot express how jealous I am....

That's like the ideal Christmas present. I want a string quartet!

From Christina C.
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 12:15 AM
well you're one for news. Between your cellist, your new fiddle & your own personal string 4tet, your lucky stars have certainly been lining up for you these last couple of months. Nice when good things happen to good people.
From marjory lange
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 2:25 AM
That's a wonderful story. Drive safely, play with all the northern lights in your soul, and enjoy.
From Tom Holzman
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 2:32 AM
that's so exciting. May you make lots of beautiful music! We are so pleased for you. Keep us updated.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 2:32 AM
I talked our quartet today about being the Callingbird quartet, and I think it's a go!

Yes, it's truly humbling and amazing how my life has been transformed since September. I couldn't have been happier today, really. Our quartet has some amazing chemistry, and I'm in love... Playing Mozart on second violin is the absolute best!

From Christina C.
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM
by the way, I've said it before but it's worth repeating. The best quartets finish their sessions by consuming yummies... whether it's of the wine & cheese variety or the tea/coffee & cake/pie variety or a mix of both. You want to improve on the already-great chemistry of your 4tet? Show up with some of those baked goodies we've read about here. :-)
From Emily Grossman
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Elena, the first violinist, had pastries and coffee waiting. Kate had to run, but Kevin and I stayed for some of her Russian cooking, which was this fantastic pork dish. I'll try to remember cookies next week.
From Katherine Moller
Posted on January 24, 2013 at 3:53 AM
Have fun with your string quartet! That is a truly amazing Christmas present! I found a violist for my quartet right around Christmas, but nothing as dramatic as getting a whole quartet!
From Charlie Gibbs
Posted on January 24, 2013 at 8:32 PM
I became a violist shortly before Christmas, so between my cello-playing wife and a couple of violinist friends I can now have a quartet too!
From Christina C.
Posted on January 25, 2013 at 7:11 PM
Glad to hear it, Emily. A definite recipe for 4tet success.

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