I didn't know what to expect when I left Kansas on the 11th. All I knew was that my time was limited. I got up at 5:00 am because I had to go to district orchestra auditions. My audition went pretty poorly (scale under tempo because the person in front played it really slow, the excerpt I didn't practice, etc.) and I was convinced I didn't do better that 30th. I rushed home and packed feverishly and my mom and I left for the airport. We took off from KCI, Kansas City International, but chemistry has brainwashed me into calling it Potassium Chloride airport because the 'I' looks like a lower case 'L.' It's even balanced! Anyway, the flight was really short (under two hours) and pretty soon we were descending into the depths of Chicago.
'Woah.' I though. 'Could I really be here? Now? Meeting Colleen?!' As my mom and I stepped off the plane, my phone rang. "Hey! Are you guys here?" It was Colleen and her mom and they were waiting for us outside in their car! My mom and I got our baggage and I called Colleen again to see where she was. "Hang up." Was her response. "I see you!" And there they were!
And the adventure began! We decided that for the rest of the evening it would be best to explore the city. Chicago is really pretty. I thought that because it was a big city, it might be dirty and gross, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We went to the symphony center where Colleen got to meet Joshua Bell earlier this year. The symphony center was really neat and I hope the new Kansas City performing arts center is as stellar. I think it will be.
After that it was time for the one and only Anne-Sophie Mutter! She was remarkable. Attired in the dress on her Mozart Violin Concertos CD, she made the stage her own along with her wonderful pianist, Lambert Orkis. What I liked best about her playing was her bow arm. She divided it so well; it seemed (in Colleen’s words) to float from tip to frog. Deathly fast passages appeared simple with minute flicks of the wrist. Her shoulder-rest-less-ness was interesting to see as well. One could tell that Mutter and Orkis had been playing together a long time. They were most definitely a dynamic duo!
Afterwards, we lined up to meet to virtuosi. It was a really long line. I think it stretched all the way down the hall and then some. However, we did get to meet the two and I asked for a picture in German. Here’s the conversation:
Colleen and me: “What a great concert! You guys are awesome!” etc.
Me: (to ASM) “Dürfen wir ein Photo nehmen bitte?”
ASM: (Looks at me with a huge smile) “Oh! Wow! In German! Of course!”
The next day, it was time for me to leave, but I had a great time in Chicago with Colleen and I look forward to going again!
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