I went to Kinhaven for the fifth year, on viola. It was wonderful of course. I miss it so much and it's really hard to think that that was my last year I can go there as a student. I played the fourth movement of the Dvorak American which I love, a contemporary piece by a composer named Rebekah Griffin-Greene, and a Mozart quartet. I also learned a lot about playing the viola, since there's a lot of difference in technique than playing the violin. I was talking to my private teacher at Kinhaven about what I'd be doing next summer. He suggested I go to Quartet Program at Bucknell University, which I've heard a lot of good stuff about from different people. Has anyone gone there or had any experience with it? What I really would love to do is go to Kinhaven Sr session next year, even though the level of playing isn't as high…I just love that place so much. I'm also thinking about MIM (Music in the Mountains) and Tanglewood.
So I had about a week or two after Kinhaven of being sad that summer was over before school started. Of the two public magnet schools I was considering, I decided to go to Masterman, the smaller one. There are only two other freshmen besides me who didn't go to 8th grade there, because they don't usually take people from the outside. The 8th grade class is bigger than the high school class and they try to accept as many as their own kids as possible. I've had two days there and I really like it already. It's a lot different from my old school, and of course a lot bigger, but the teachers and kids are really nice. I'm thinking about joining the orchestra there but it means having to get to school an hour early, and I don't know if the sleep is something I can sacrifice!
Another really cool thing is that I've started working daily with an accompanist. Timothy Ribchester, who accompanied me last spring for a local competition. Last Wednesday night I went to his apartment downtown and we ran through Intro and Rondo, the Devil's Trill, and Wieniawski just to get a feel for playing together. Next week I'm going to bring the Spring Sonata, which will be pretty much my first sonata played with piano. That's where the big hole in my repertoire is.
I've started with this new teacher named Joey Corpus. I've only had three lessons with him but I like him a lot. He lives in New York, which means more drives up there in the car (and more Starbucks on the New Jersey Turnpike!) Already he's taught me a lot of good stuff about technique. People say he's the "secret weapon" you need to get really good technically.
We finally heard back from From the Top about the TV series this year – and my quartet was accepted! We're going to play in Carnegie Hall on October 27. I was so excited when I found out. I've only been to Carnegie Hall once, to hear Dylana Jensen play, but to be able to play in it will be an entirely different thing. We're going to play this piece written by a 15-year-old girl from Arizona, called Moon's Lullaby. It's short but very beautiful.
Speaking of FTT, I got the schedule for the shows this year. Not all of them are confirmed, and I'm not going to all, but I am definitely going to L.A. Yay!
The Strad interview at his site you linked to is a good one. If I was a player and young enough to have some practical potential I would look him up myself.
Playing in Carnegie Hall is amazing. My high school orchestra rented it out (twice!) to give its concert in, so I got to play there when I was 11 (before it was redone) and again when I was about 15. It's kinda like sneaking in the back door :), but I got to play violin, cello, and sing a duet from that stage because our schoolboard was crazy enough. Gotta love it. I actually got to play once there more legitimately with the Greater Westchester Youth Symphony, too, though.
It's a beautiful space, and the acoustics feel incredible. I'm sure that with just your quartet on stage, the experience will be all the more intense.
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