Thursday, September 28, 2006

On any given Thursday

It's been another busy week: recovering from a cold, practicing violin and also transcribing interviews/writing scripts for Composing Thoughts. (Don't miss Kevin Puts this next episode, and catch some online only sounds over at the site!)
Also talked with my friend Stuart Malina for WITF's Symphony Show. It will air next Thursday evening at 7:05pm on WITF. Something that is pretty cool and we talk about is his new blog and his first podcast. It's excellent, go hear him discuss and play some piano reduction of Beethoven's Leonore Overture #3 (and learn why it's, it's not really like Rocky VI) at his site.
More soon, including a late posting review of Janine Jansen with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Celebrating Shostakovich

Today is the 100th anniversary of Shostakovich's birth. Ala Terry Teachout, I thought I'd list an almanac (a bit lengthier and less suave) but here goes for the year 1906...and on this day...

IN 1906

President: Theodore Roosevelt
Vice President: Charles W. Fairbanks
Population: 85,450,000
Federal spending: $0.57 billion
Unemployment: 1.7%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.02

More than 500 people are killed during the San Francisco earthquake and ensuing three-day fire.
President Roosevelt sails to the Panama Canal Zone. It is the first time a U.S. president has travelled outside the country while in office.
Reginald Fessenden invents wireless telephony, a means for radio waves to carry signals a significant distance.
Upton Sinclair exposes the public-health threat of the meat-packing industry in The Jungle.
Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer, locates Magnetic North Pole.
Ethiopia declared independent in a tripartite pact; country is divided into British, French, and Italian spheres of influence.
Finland is the first European country to give women the right to vote.

World Series
Chicago White Sox d. Chicago Cubs (4-2)
Stanley Cup
Montreal Wanderers
Women: Dorothea Douglass d. M. Sutton (6-3 9-7)
Men: Laurie Doherty d. F. Riseley (6-4 4-6 6-2 6-3)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Sir Huon
NCAA Football Champions
Princeton (9-0-1)
1906 Olympics – Athens
The Olympic movement returned to Athens for the Intercalated Games of 1906.
The mutual desire of Greece and Baron de Coubertin to recapture the spirit of the 1896 Games led to an understanding that the Greeks would host an interim games every four years between Olympics.
Nearly 900 athletes from 20 countries came to Athens, including, for the first time, an official American team picked by the USOC.
As usual, the U.S. dominated track and field, taking 11 of 21 events, including double wins by Martin Sheridan (shot put and freestyle discus), Ray Ewry (standing high and long jumps) and Paul Pilgrim (400 and 800 meters). The previously unknown Pilgrim had been an 11th-hour addition to the team.
Verner Järvinen, the first Finn to compete in the Olympics, won the Greek-style discus throw and placed second in the freestyle discus. He returned home a national hero and inspired Finland to become a future Olympic power.
The Intercalated Games were cancelled due to political unrest in 1910 and never reappeared. Medals won are considered unofficial by the IOC.

English biochemist Frederick Hopkins concludes that vitamins are essential and that a lack of vitamins causes scurvy and rickets.
British geologist and seismologist Richard Dixon Oldham notes that earthquake waves travel more slowly when they pass through the center of the Earth, and suggests that our planet has a dense core.

Nobel Prizes
Physics - Sir Joseph John Thomson, for investigations on passage of electricity through gases
Chemistry - Henri Moissan , for isolation of fluorine, and introduction of electric furnace
Medicine - Camillo Golgi, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, for work on structure of the nervous system
Literature - Giosuè Carducci
Peace - Theodore Roosevelt

Also on this day…In 1775, Ethan Allen was captured by the British.
In 1789, The first Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. The first ten became the Bill of Rights. In 1890, Wilford Woodruff, president of the Mormon church, renounced the practice of polygamy. This paved the way for Utah's acceptance as a state in 1896. In 1957, Nine black children were escorted to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, under heavily armed guard, because of racial violence. In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court. In 2003, It was reported that more than 14,000 had lost their lives in France in a summer heat wave.

Born on this day, Claude Perrault: architect, scientist, and physician (1613); William Faulkner: American novelist (1897); Mark Rothko: painter (1903); Sir Colin Davis: conductor (1927); Barbara Walters: TV commentator (1931); Glenn Gould: pianist and composer (1932); Michael Douglas: actor (1944); Christopher Reeve: actor, director (1952); Heather Locklear: actress (1961); Catherine Zeta-Jones: actress (1969).

(see lots more here:

Also keep an eye out for posts from Dr. Dick for Shostakovich's music. You read about my previous Shostakovich posts here and here.

Friday, September 22, 2006

All the news

that's fit to read. My NY Times daily subscription started today, woohoo. It's the Washington edition, which seems to be cool.
I grew up reading papers, in fact I have really good memories of reading the paper and drinking coffee with my grandfather. Then it the Mexico Ledger in central Missouri. Then in Kansas it was the Wichita Eagle. When I moved to Harrisburg last year I ended up taking a six month subscription for the Patriot News but just wasn't impressed. There were some good local angles now and then, but more often than not I just did the crossword puzzle and off to the recycling bin.
Now that I've moved to the new apartment, I've changed addresses with my magazines I read (EveryDay with Rachael Ray, The New Yorker, and FHM) and decided I should go ahead and get the times at home. I don't always agree with the reviews and sometimes wonder what they are promoting in certain features, but it will be nice company on my mornings.
Of course I listen to NPR for news and browse quite a bit online. I'm a fan of Robin & Company on CNN Headline News. And I receive the email alerts from the Chicago Tribune.

How do you get your news and what do you read?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Guitars in Gardiner

Excellent concert by Ernesto Tamayo last night. I arrived to New Paltz by bus and friends met me. We wound up cooking outside and enjoying ourselves quite a bit, so much so time slipped by - we ended up scoring the last parking space to Unison, a wonderful concert space up on the mountain when we got there.
Ernesto suprised us by playing four different guitars throughout the evening - none of them his own, but by a local, yet world renowned, guitar maker, Thomas Humphrey. Ernesto's program drew from his new cd, Classical Persuasions. The Bach was simply stunning...he dedicated a piece (that he had written) to the owner of LaBella Strings, Richard Coco; and in the second half, dedicated a piece by Leo Brouwer to me! We chatted with the friendly folks afterwards and went over to Thomas and Martha's for some food and drink...and it turns out more music. Ernesto played some more of his pieces and some Weiss. What a evening!
The next morning, Stu and Julia made pancakes with fresh fried apples; then smores! They got me to the bus just on time (by about 10 minutes!) Oddly enough, the bus broke down and there was a 1.5 hour wait while another came to get us. Oh, and a passenger trying to get to the back restroom had me move (I hadn't noticed him as I was trying to get my bag settled) and I ended up ripping my slacks - the only ones I had packed for the trip! yeee. oh well. easy come easy go, right? So I'm now back in the city and looking forward to dinner and seeing friends.

Julia Stu & Ernesto

Ernesto & Richard Coco

Martha's wonderful cooking

At the Humphreys

Picnic before the concert

Stu and Mike with the fire

Stu preparing fire

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Da blues

Fun time at Trees in Steelton with friends. I sat in with 3 Trains Comin' - met some new folks and enjoyed a lager or two. I went home and did some packing and organizing - the lion share was done this morning. Now off to NYC and New Paltz.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Libby Live

Last night I interviewed one of the great composers and sweetest people, Libby Larsen, at her publishers (Oxford University) in New York City.
We talked about music, creativity, teaching and opera among other things. It will be featured on Composing Thoughts this fall.

I'll be back in the city this weekend - but it was nice to catch Manhattan midweek and eat some Thai food too! On tap is a recital by guitarist Ernesto Tamayo Saturday, and Monday night is Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with violinist Janine Jansen.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Celebrating Steve

There are more birthdays in 2006 than Mozart and Shostakovich!

On October 3rd, the world honors composer Steve Reich, he'll turn 70 years young.

You can check out his birthday website here.

Reich was also just awarded the music prize in the 18th annual Praemium Imperiale arts awards! (It was just announced, it actually takes place on October about it here)

So, I thought you'd enjoy my interview with Steve from December 2004.

Part 1 [mp3 file] talking about technology and his birthday.
(the video Steve references is now here)

Part 2 [mp3 file] talking about composing.

Part 3 [mp3 file] talking about influences and minimalism.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Classical Guitar Interview

This weekend I'm going to hear my friend Ernesto play a recital in New Paltz, NY and he'll release his new cd! Last month he stopped by and did an interview at WITF. Here's the transcript - look for some mp3s of his playing live in the studio to show up soon!

John: It’s good to have you here today.
Ernesto: Thank you, good afternoon.
J: I wanted to start out and ask about this new cd, Classical Persuasions. Where does the title come from?
E: The title was actually a suggestion by Blair Mohn and John Napfliotis. We have worked together as a team. I always try to share with everyone my playing and the classical music I love. I tell people: - you should listen to the classical guitar – trying to persuade them to love the instrument, that’s where the title comes from.
J: Well, you’ve persuaded me with this album! It actually goes back several hundred years of great guitar music: Fernando Sor, Weiss, and one of your teachers, Leo Brouwer. How was it to record his music?
E: Well, Leo Brouwer is one of the dedicatees of this disc, besides three other wonderful guitarists, musicians, and friends. Brouwer was my teacher in Cuba – an oustanding composer, an amazing guitarist and a great friend. He came to the United States before the Cuban Revolution to enhance his musical studies. He’s also probably the most important composer for the classical guitar since the 1950s and still very much alive. While listening to this work on this cd Tress Apuntes “Three Drafts” from 1959, you can really feel the Afro-Cuban influence in the piece. In the first movement you can really hear fire music – its percussive and dramatic influenced by Manuel De Falla, very effective! The second movement is philosophical, at least that is how I feel it. The third one is probably my favorite, it’s very Bulgarian in feeling but has this Afro-Cuban rhythm underneath it, like congas. It’s really interesting and fun to play!
J: You’ve been in touch with Brouwer recently haven’t you?
E: Yes, I talked on the phone with him a while ago when he was in Cuba. He’s doing better after being rather ill. But he’s writing a lot of music and playing the guitar a little bit. Someone that I know for a long time is taking very good care of him.
J: Now this isn’t your first “classical” cd release, there was Bach; a cd of folks songs; and last year we talked about your release “The Cuban Guitarist.” How is it to go back and record a disc with some Cuban influences?
E: Well, it’s interesting. I’ll start with the Bach release in 1996. I was at Peabody studying at that time, and became friends with Stephen Kates, a cellist who passed away a few years ago. I used to take some lessons with him. He encouraged me to record the Bach project. The motivation came from Mr. Kates, no really from the Guitar department at that time. It was a fantastic learning process for me. I went to Bach festivals, I was able to play with orchestras, and a lot of classical guitar events. While playing some of these recitals I met someone from Bacardi. We became very good friends – he encouraged me to prepare some Cuban music arrangements. So I did the arrangements and ended up recording them. I did one of the Cuban pieces at my Carnegie Hall debut, do you remember that evening?
J: Of course, that was a lot of fun!
E: So a lot of folks enjoyed the Cuban pieces and encouraged me to play and record them. After a four year break from recording, then The Cuban Guitarist cd came along. On that release I added some classical selections and Cuban music where I recorded several tracks, I played some percussions instruments, I wrote music for the project, it was a great collaboration between Blair, John, and myself. But still, I didn’t have a recital cd. And I think as a classical guitarist it’s important to have a cd with different composers and different styles, so Classical Persuasions came next combining important works from the classical guitar repertoire. This new disc is 72 minutes long, with some Venezuelan music, arrangements of Antonio Lauro, things that are well known in the classical guitar world. There’s Fernando Sor that you mentioned, the title is “Malborough s’en va-t-en guerre” – ugh, that’s hard to pronounce! *Laughter* It’s a theme and variations. There’s a Weiss work, a Sonata arranged by Michael Lorimer. Michael is a good friend of mine – as I was saying before, the cd is dedicated to four friends and guitarists. Michael is one of them. I’m also playing Albeniz: Cordoba from the Iberia Suite. It’s from a suite of 12 impressions of Spain and this arrangement is by John Williams. After that, I have Joaquin Rodrigo’s Tres Piezas Espanolas, Three Spanish Pieces. I would like to mention the names of other two dedicatees of this recording. They are well-known Cuban guitarists Elias Barreiro who I met after I arrived to the US, and Antonio Alberto Rodrigues (Biki) who was also my guitar teacher back in Cuba. They have also contributed so much to the classical guitar and the musical world.
J: I remember you playing those Rodrigo pieces when we first met in Wichita – you played them at Chamber Music at the Barn.
E: Yes, I can say that this cd is a recollection of repertoire that I have been playing for a while.
J: How is it to return to pieces? Is it a challenge or is it comfortable?
E: It is a challenge. You learn pieces one way and then look at the score later and something might have been missing or you might not have done it the right way. You have to go back and practice the piece – for the recording you have to make sure everything is just right – so yes, I would say it is a challenge. But I would also say it is a lot of fun.
J: I know that you mentioned early John and Blair, your support team – this is something, Classical Persuasions, that you recorded in your own studio. Was that another fun challenge?
E: Oh yes, it was in my own studio. Considering the fact that the music industry is going, and with the technology available today for everyone it is very important for every musician to have their own recording equipment in order to record themselves while practicing or for a project. The original idea for me was just to record my practicing, so I could hear myself. But I ended up getting really top of the line equipment – something Sony studios might have, so why not make my own recording? This way I don’t have to pay high fees to rent a recording studio – I have one myself.
So, Blair and John urge me to create my own company, Virgo Productions. So basically the three of us are producers if you will, from the recording to the repertory. John and Blair aren’t as familiar with guitar repertory, so they’ll do a lot of listening and read all the information I have – it’s quite remarkable what they do – and so talented, they’ve wound up knowing more about composers than you or me! Its fun to work with them and we’ve become very close friends. Another important factor, John, is my guitar. It’s made by David Daily, and I use La Bella Strings. I exclusively use this and it makes a huge difference. They have been fantastic to me – especially with the recording studio. Sometimes you know, there are so many strings, and not all of them work with particular microphones, you just have to keep trying for that just right sound. Richard Cocco really worked with me on what I wanted and I’m very grateful for that. It’s an interesting process! And there’s a lot of support really.
J: It shows in this new disc, definitely. I have a hard question for you. We talked last year when The Cuban Guitarist was released about a car accident, that had you rethink things in your life. With this release, have there been things in your personal life, that affects your professional life?
E: Yes, it does. I have to say the accident was on February 15th, 2005. Before that, I was, well, let’s go back. I’ve been playing the guitar since I was five years old, so therefore I have performed a lot of concerts. When I reached my 30th birthday I took guitar playing for granted. I lost my focus really. God was probably looking at me and saying, “That is not what you should be doing Ernesto.” I truly believe that this accident was a wakeup call. Again, “go back to your roots. Go back to what you are here to do.” So obviously, after the accident, I thought about the cd before – the Cuban folk tunes, and I thought about some new arrangements. So I decided the Cuban Guitarist was a good choice. But in the back of my mind, I had this recital cd and project to do. Plus, the classical guitar market is already established. I mean, it’s nice to have a Cuban cd made and these arrangements, and to provide them for the repertory. My agent is working hard to book me for festivals and concerts in Europe, and this is very important for me to have: a recital cd of standard repertoire. It shows everything you do, and honestly, it is my favorite repertoire to play. As for personal changes, that accident did change me - I came out with no bruises or scratches despite the car rolling over four times – really a wakeup call. I defected from Cuba to enhance my playing and musical skills, and you get wrapped up in life and other things. Different things distract you, that’s the way it is. So I feel I’m back on track.
J: Now you teach at the PA Academy of Music in Lancaster. What do you recommend to kids who are interested in classical music and the guitar specifically? Is there a route to take, listening? Lessons? Masterclasses?
E: Well, the department is very small still at the Academy. We are working on it together to increase it and make a real program. Right now my teaching schedule is only one day a week. We have space for more students, and it’s not a full program yet. Next year, we’ll start repertory classes, group lessons, guitar orchestra and a literature class. That is my goal to have a real program there for the guitar, maybe a festival, will see.
The advice for students is to listen to recordings, and to music in general. Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart – get familiar to great music and devote yourself to your guitar. You can talk to me of course, about lessons! *Laughter* I will be happy to guide them and see where the program lads. The academy is building a new facility in Lancaster rand it will change the course of musical education in the state of Pennsylvania. I have to say you have to give credit to Michael Jamanis and Frances Veri, both wonderful musicians, who have this vision- from 14 years ago, to teach music and it began in their house, now to be in a 20 million dollar new facility! I am very proud to have had students here go on to Yale University and to the Peabody Conservatory and continue their studies in guitar.
J: Very exciting. Ernesto, thanks for stopping by today and congratulations on your new release, “Classical Persuasions”.
E: Thank you John.

FIRST PRIZE WINNER of the 1995 NGWS in New Milford, Connecticut, Ernesto Tamayo has toured extensively throughout North and South America and Europe. He is one of the most accomplished and sought-after guitarists of his generation. Ernesto is often praised for his brilliant technique, artistry, and his exceptionally warm tone and expressive interpretations on the guitar.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Ernesto began studying the guitar with his father when he was five. He made his television debut at the young age of nine. Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Classical of Mexico enabled Ernesto to come to the United States where he received a full scholarship for advanced studies at Peabody Conservatory with well-known guitarist Manuel Barrueco.
Since his arrival in the United States, Ernesto has performed in numerous concert series' and with orchestras in the United States and abroad. In September of 1999, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with a sold-out performance. Past engagements at guitar festivals include appearances at the Fourth International Guitar Festival in Cuernavaca, Mexico, the Sixth International Guitar Festival in Long Island, New York, the "Classical Guitarists of the World" concert series in Fullerton, California and the Connecticut Guitar Summer Workshop. Ernesto has also given solo recitals for the classical guitar societies of Baltimore, Miami, Reno, Cheyenne and Northern Colorado, among others.
Ernesto has recorded three albums, Ernesto Tamayo Plays Bach, Melodias Cubanas, and The Cuban Guitarist. His latest Album The Cuban Guitarist features two world premier recordings, “The Havana Suite” by Cuban guitarist and composer Aldo Rodriguez, and “Five Inspirations” composed by Ernesto himself. His fourth album is scheduled to be released in September of 2006 where he feature works by Silvious Leopold Weiss, Fernando Sor, Leo Brouwer, Isaac Albeniz, and Joaquin Rodrigo.
Ernesto is a recipient of career development grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation. He is sponsored by Bacardi Foundation, Del Mar Foundation, La Bella Strings and performs with a David Daily guitar.

JOHN CLARE is a radio broadcast professional, violinist, and webmaster of Winner of ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award in 2005, he is a member of Phi Beta, the American Music Center, and an ordained minister of New Music of Universal Life Church.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Old Friends, New Sounds

Friday's excursion to Philadelphia was delightful! Yummy Thai/Malaysian food with Jennifer and caught up with her about compositions and life. Definitely check out Aqua if you're in old town Philadelphia - the staff are top notch and the food killer. Oh and its in a comfortable setting and reasonable prices to boot. It was also neat to hear about the new Piano Concerto for Lang Lang - I'm looking forward to next May and the National Philharmonic.
Saturday evening was also a meeting of friends and a world premiere. Concertante opened their tenth season (not much fanfare about being around for ten years, although the start of One plus Five IS exciting) at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center at HACC. I came early and met folks at a reception/funderariser in the rose garden - absolutely wonderful.
Many friends were about and I ended up sitting with Dick Strawser and Stuart & Marti Malina in the back row. Interestingly enough you can read Dick's and Stuart's take on the concert here and here respectively.
On the program was Boccherini, Liebermann and Elgar. I, of course, couldn't help joking about playing some drinking games with chamber music - perhaps sangria with Boccherini, taking a shot when you hear an open harmonic, open c string and all sorts of silly ideas. (Later another friend suggested "spin the viola" and "strip chamber music!") The Boccherini was light and fluffy with dazzling notes from X, the first violinist and Alexis, the first cellist -a great opener.
Lowell Liebermann's Chamber Concerto Number Two is indeed dark. You can hear the composer talk with me about the work here. [mp3 file - 3 minutes long]
It's a strong work after Bartok and Shostakovich, in three broad sections. Liebermann separates low strings (celli & viola 2) with the upper strings (solo violin, violin 2 and viola 1) to very effective use, as well as contrasts of ensemble (tremolo tutti strings and soaring legato lines for the solo violin.) The middle section is tight and taunt, with a return of the main motive and third section. The abrupt ending is somewhat of a suprise - like the rather stark piece itself. It weighs in at a mere 12 minutes, but takes the listener on quite a journey.
The program ended with the Piano Quintet by Sir Edward Elgar. It's not a great piece, nor is it a bad piece - there are reasons that it is not well known: it's just not memorable. It was well played by pianist Anton Nel and Concertante.
Afterwards the audience met the artists out in the garden again, this time with coffee and desserts. It was nice seeing and hearing Concertante at HACC, they'll be back there in May - until then, catch them next time at Whitaker Center - you'll be glad you did!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday and friends

Tada! It's Friday, woohoo, and the weekend is upon us! For me, that means dinner with a friend in Philadelphia, catching up on her compositions and life in general.
Tomorrow is Concertante and the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann's Chamber Concerto #2. Look for an interview with Lowell to be posted here soon. [mp3 file]
Sunday is either a Manhattan day trip to see a friend or the Harrisburg annual ArtsWalk. (Probably not both...)
Upcoming trips to the Big Apple are Wednesday to interview Libby Larsen for Composing Thoughts, then all of the following weekend to see friends, concerts and an interview with Janine Jansen.

Oh, if you haven't made it over to New Music Box from the American Music Center, do check out my article on New Music in Central PA.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

September Settling

Well, things are shaping up around the apartment. I had a flash of redecorating thoughts - and it is taking shape!
I've programmed quite a bit of music so far in my life...from violin recitals for myself and for my students, chamber music concerts and seasons, and for quite a while now, radio shows. From daily airshifts and specialty shows, to an entire classical radio station, I've picked or selected music for myself and audiences in their home, office or car...but I've never ever thougth about music in the restroom. Until now!

Who knew that old classical lp album covers would make good "wallpaper?" (And you thought some albums were just audio wallpaper, lol!)

Here are some views from my bathroom that is now adorned with great album covers of the past. It's been fun having themes: classical babes, great violinists, conductors, and just cool looking covers.

I'm posting a few views for friends who won't be able to get here from Las Vegas or Kansas. However, if you're in the area, let me know ;)

One of the very first things I set up and had the vision when I first saw the place, was behind the bar...having my Deems Taylor award and two E.M.A.s along side of it (they had been on the mantle of the house I was renting. Now, there is some great lighting for them and look nice.

Monday, September 04, 2006

First of Fall

Lovely evening at Gretna Music last night with the Audubon Quartet and friends with Mozart and Mendelssohn.
I took some testimonials from WITF listeners, and talked with Gretna staff and audience members about the season, et al.
Ellen Hughes asked engaging and wonderful questions as her pre-concert conversation with Tom Shaw, cellist with Audubon and his musical sons, Jeremiah and Frank. (You'll be able to hear my talk with them, joined by wife/mom Doris Lederer online soon - besides on WITF Presents, Mondays at 7:05pm) As the talk went along, I noticed a chill in the air - something I hadn't expected.
After the talk I enjoyed a cigar out behind the theater, sitting on a bench where I could hear the Mozart quintets on the first half. A nice blend of relaxation and musical enjoyment. It was also some time to think - realizing that it was turning fall already. I've been so busy, that it was a bit of a shock to think that it would be time to have sweaters ready and a jacket. Part of the aging process, time flying by...
Intermission brought about seeing friends who stopped by who live in the area and more listeners - one who appreciates Composing Thoughts, always something great to hear! I explained the new season will start September 24th. Intermission also brought about drawings/fundraising with Gretna, with some tickets, a totebag and plasma tv all given away - and everyone who won WAS present, woohoo.
The second half of the concert was Mendelssohn's charming octet and the audience loved it. Recording engineer Andrew said it was the longest ovation he'd heard this season, and deservedly so!
After the concert, more time to chat with friends and fans- also had some goodbyes. Lovely way to spend a holiday weekend even if I do have unpacking and writing to do. Speaking of which...

Friday, September 01, 2006

All is new again

Finally a moment to breathe with all that has been going here goes.
I've officially moved to my new apartment, and will now spend the weekend unpacking and organizing. It was nice having movers take care of things - although I forgot to have the 3 large boxes of things in the basement loaded, whoops!
I'll take out some time this Sunday to catch the last summer concert out at Gretna Music with the Audubon Quartet and Friends playing Mozart & Mendelssohn. Tom & Doris (and maybe their sons Frank & Jeremy) are stopping by today for an interview.
I also finished the second draft for New Music Box exploring sounds in PA. I'll post a link when it's up.
I was way bummed to read about Martina Hingis losing at the US Open. Dang it, I was really looking forward to seeing her advance, oh well. I have said I will definitely plan on seeing the open live next year, if it wasn't gangbusters around here, I'd be there now.
Work has been very busy, putting together Composing Thoughts episodes, we're just about to put the finishing touches on Tina Davidson's show - it's a blast and yet hard work. It'll pay off in the end I know. Just mondo busy right now, and perhaps for the first time here, stress! ;)
Also been working on travel plans and vacation. Will be in NYC two weeks in a row and have some killer concerts to see besides good friends.
Next week I get to catch up with a composer friend in Philly, can't wait to hang and eat some Thai food. I'll stay over, see some art and head back to Harrisburg the next day for the Concertante concert and the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann's sextet for One plus Five.
It's supposed to rain quite a bit, Ernesto is making its way up the coast, and last week I joked to a friend about the two hurricanes so far being named "Ernesto and John" (see previous entry for humor.)
I'm looking forward to starting some movement/Tai Chi lessons with Sensei Tony at the Blue Mountain Lotus Society. I'd go to their regularly scheduled meeting, but I've agreed to play with the Hershey Symphony this year, and they rehearse Thursday nights, when they normally do Tai I'll inquire about lessons.
BTW, I'd like to welcome all the readers in Chicago who catch this via the lovely website set up for the arts there; the Wichita friends who stop by and the folks who seem to like classical music rumors/concert reviews, etc. ;) I sent it to friends, but didn't mention here that Andre Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter have split and will get a divorce. I also seem to get violin searches for Gobetti (the violin my mentor plays) as well as playing violin. How can I increase the cigar traffic? hahahaha
Happy September!
More soon!