May 14, 2009 at 12:12 PM
The sharp rhythm of flamenco surged through the streets of Cordoba every night. Every corner and public square became the stage for spontaneous outbursts of clapping, chanting, singing, dancing and flamenco music. The passion of Gypsies singing, the beautifully costumed dancers -- the driving RHYTHM! Unforgettable!!
This was the nightly backdrop for my week of violin master classes in Cordoba, Spain. My classes happened to coincide with the annual "Cruces de Mayo" festival in Cordoba, which brought the evening hours amazing color and vitality!
Of course, the morning hours were spent in "quieter pursuits" in the studio of the Conservatorio Superior de Musica of Cordoba, where dozens of wonderful violinists played for me each day as together we sought out the best ways to improve their performances. The students were wonderful. They were so warm and respectful and well prepared by the faculty of the Conservatorio. My friend Paco (Francisco Montalvo) had arranged the classes and served as my gracious host for many Tapas dinners (also unforgettable!). There were wonderful revelations, discussions on technique, musical ideas exchanged--all in a wonderful atmosphere of comeraderie which in itself was a delight.
Cordoba's rich cultural mix of Spanish, Arabic, Jewish and Christian influences has made a long-lasting impact on my memory. I hope to return to it (and its wonderful people) many times in the future! For now, the warm memories will have to do.
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