Saturday, November 18, 2006


Dan asked about the Mozart picture attached to my last post. It doesn't really mean anything in particular, except that it's Mozart and I'm playing a Mozart opera. I just thought it was a funny picture. It's from a series of 5 advertisements for chamber music with the Berlin Philharmonic. The series is entitled "Komponisten Privat," and I guess it's supposed to be about classical music as a non-stuffy -performance hall kind of thing. Here are the other 4 pictures. They're all pretty great--look closely at Haydn.

And speaking of Germans, I just got invited to play in a throw-together orchestra for a graduate choral conductor masterclass with Helmuth Rilling. I don't know if any of you have heard of him, but he's a famous Bach/Mozart-type conductor. I'm pretty excited for it, even though that's a little bit geeky of me. Plus I get $50. That never hurts.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

By popular demand....

I may have inadvertently killed off any interest in my blog by taking so long to write another post. You must forgive me, gentle readers, for my apparent lack of interest in posting on my blog. Unfortunately, the demands of finer art of viola playing have had to come before the pleasures of blogging my dull activities.

The Flint Symphony week was super great, even though I harbor ill feelings toward Schumann Symphony 2. It's not my favorite piece and I've had to play it a number of times. But Enrique gave us a little pre-concert pep talk and told us not to play like we're doing a duty, but like we're doing "a joy." I usually don't actually look at conductors while I'm playing (mostly because they're outside the range of my glasses and I rely on my peripheral vision) but I took the opportunity to actually look at Enrique during the Schumann. He's one of the most musical conductors I've ever played with. Every inch of him expressed the music--he was even wiping away tears during the third movement. People say he cries at every concert and that it makes his mascara run. Whatever.

This week's "joy" is playing the U of M opera, Cosi Fan Tutte. The good news is that I like opera, the music is really beautiful and it's a pretty cool production with only a few scandalous parts. The bad news is that it's three hours of playing quietly and delicately and it turns my entire torso into one big convulsion. The good news is that I'm sitting at audience level and get to see a lot of what happens on stage. The bad news is that I can't be sequestered away in a pit and eat treats and wear purple socks. The good news is that it's over on Sunday and I have an entire free week after that to clean my room.

I know this is a sorry excuse for a post, but all my clever and creative ideas have suddenly left me. Fear not, there will be more posts in the future.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Inspired by Andrea

Now that Andrea's come out with her blog I figured it's safe to tell you all about mine. I've had it for a few months but haven't bothered to tell anyone about it, mostly because I haven't bothered to post anything. I can't promise anything too exciting but, really, would you expect that from me?

This week I'm playing in the Flint Symphony. The conductor's name there is Enrique
Diemecke. He's from Mexico and very espunky and esmiley. His hands are also about half the size of mine, as you may be able to tell from the picture. It's really enjoyable to play there because he makes the orchestra such a friendly environment, and orchestras usually seem pretty stiff and formal. I guess it's usually to maintain some kind of respect for the conductor and to acknowledge his/her role as the leader but I think it's possible to do that and, you know, have fun? Have feelings? Get excited about stuff? I have more opinions about repressed American orchestras, but I don't think they're worth spouting off here.

'Til next time, as the French have it, au revoir.