Sunday, November 20, 2005


This weekend many firsts occurred. I've already mentioned the Hershey performance that Paul and I did...Last night, we played our first concert at Whitaker Center (Underground Stage) to a sold out crowd - we were the opening act for Steve Forbert. They loved us. It was cool. When they gave us a five minute warning to rap up, I couldn't believe it - it seemed like we have just got on stage - when in fact 25 minutes had slipped by. Paul is musical and funny. Good stage presence. We did a few of his originals, Townes van Zandt, and Pachelbel's Canon. Yes, that piece. Guitar and violin. And how did they take it? A standing o. Really! More on the evils of Pachelbel in a future post. But back to our firsts.

It was also the first time I went to the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia...I heard Hilary Hahn play a recital with Natalie Zhu. I'd always seen her in concerti and encores, never a was superhuman. Amazing. I actually thought she would float down from the top of Verizon Hall, and then play. She remains to do everything right in her playing - technique, musicality, fashion, the list goes on and on. The rep paid homage to past great violinists/composers: Enescu, Ysaye, and Milstein; then two sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven. It was a recital that you would imagine as just right, but that no one in their right mind could play. Hahn played it with panache and courage - absolutely perfect. I hate to overuse that word, but it is most fitting.

Also finally met Jennifer Higdon in person (going this next Saturday to hear the premiere of her Percussion Concerto there!) She had a piece in the recital hall fact she told she's having 6 premieres in 2 weeks. Yowser! It was so nice to meet face to face, I respect her music so much and after a lovely radio interview, I knew her, but there is something about actually meeting the person. She is as charming in person as she was in our interview. Curtis and Philadelphia are so lucky to have her. And I'm glad to be so close to all of these things.

Finally it was a first to really hang out and get to know Stu and Julia (who had joined me and Ellen for the concert.) They are a sweet couple and we had a blast in Philly, from waiting in line to meet Hilary afterwards to dinner at Warsaw Cafe - they even drove back with me instead of catching the later train. (Their "first" besides they aforementioned Verizon Hall/Kimmel Center was hearing Combustible Edison - one of my fave lounge/swinger bands.)

And in celebration of all of this, it's my 100th post. Woohoo. Here's to the next 100!

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