My master class with Brian Lewis was tonight. Before I tell you about that, I'll give you some history about him: He went to Juilliard and took from Dorothy DeLay, he has played in Carnagie Hall, and recorded several CDs - his most recent with the London Symphony.
I had to play right after a 7-year-old prodigy, but other than that, I think things went pretty well. I started out my piece (Mozart's Concerto No. 5 in A major, Allegro aperto) with the piano a little bit tense. As the piece progressed, I became more and more relaxed. I played the cadenza pretty well, hitting all the runs, and ended the piece nicely.
Brian's first comment to me was a compliment on my concentration. That was pretty nice to hear because I can never concentrate when practicing (it's like I have ADD or something), but come performance, I do what I need to. Then we started to work on the Adagio before the Allegro which is the hardest part of the piece when you are attempting to interpret it. He told me to think of a word to describe this section and, without telling anyone what the word was, play it like that. I chose 'calm' and played it as such. Then he told me a word to add with the word I was using and play it like that. The word he told me was 'big.' I could really hear the difference in my sound while playing it, which was an amazing result from just thinking of a word. Then we worked on vibrato of my fourth finger and more interpretations of the Adagio. Brian also told me that he agreed with my interpretations of the rest of the piece, which, of course, was very encouraging.
Master class participants:
It's not fair. I thought I was done, finished, I thought I was home-free, but NO! Cross country I going on for 2 more weeks >:-( I used to enjoy it, but now I'm at the point where I just want it to END. I thought that this week, I would have all afternoons after school to practice for my master class, but NO. To counter this unfortunate event, I have arranged to practice 1.5 hours before school in or around the orchestra room. Jab and uppercut, take that cross country! You can't keep me from my one true love and you know it. I finally got a chance to practice with the accompanist tonight and I found myself focusing too much on the meshing of the two parts and not enough on the musicality. The first time through was not good. My teacher had me start it over and relax (can you believe it?) and it was so much better! I just hope I'll be able to play like that come master class. I'll be practicing feverishly in all the free time until the master class (Friday), so you won't be hearing from me until then. Wish me luck!
My master class with Brian Lewis is coming up on Friday (one week from today). I have dropped all my other repertoire at the moment to practice the piece I am performing for him. This piece is the first movement of Mozart's A major concerto. I still haven't gotten to practice with the accompanist! I will practice with her this Tuesday and until then I will be practicing with Itzahk Perlman. Well, his recording anyway.
This weekend there are two things going with the Ottawa Suzuki Strings. One is we are playing at the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin, KS. I probably will not be going to that seeing as I have my first varsity meet tomorrow. Don't worry though, violin is still #1 with me! Also, we are performing at a Katrina benifit thing on Sunday. I am going to that. We are performing with other Suzuki groups on all the songs except one, Trepak by Michael McLean. I positively ADORE that piece! Trepak is on our new CD, "Sunflower Sojourn," also. Maybe I'll try to post that on here later.
Our first orchestra concert of the year is coming up on Thursday. I am still second chair, which is good considering that I am the youngest in the section. Personally, I think I should be first chair, but doesn't everyone? I still love ruining the hierarchy of upperclassmen. The first chair told me that the other upperclassmen are probably "throwing darts at my picture" because I am second chair. Oh well. Yay for taking away upperclassmen's bragging rights!
Okay, this has to do with cross country. So, I always miss Thursday practices because of my violin lesson. So yesterday I was asking the coach what I should do to make up for missing practice. He asked if I would have time to practice with the team. No. He asked how long my lessons took. 45 minutes down, 45 minutes back, 45 minute lesson for me, 45 minute lesson for my brother, 30 minute lesson for my sister. I heard him say "Oh, that's terrible." Obviously NO appriciation for the arts! I always want to slap people around when they say stuff like that!
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