Performing Shostakovich with the Missouri Symphony was an absolutely unforgettable experience! But it was immediately on to the next thing as I got together with 3 of my colleagues to put together and perform Beethoven's Quartet Op. 18 No. 4! The Hot Summer Nights Festival's first Chamber Concert was Monday night so we got right to work rehearsing on Sunday afternoon. The really great thing about this performance was I got to work with one of my super good friends, Rachel! We've known each other since we were really little - her mom plays oboe in the Knoxville Symphony and my dad was music director there for many years when I was young - but since I'm in Texas and she's in Tennessee we don't get to see each other very often! I was so glad that I got to play together with her for this piece!!
Tyler, Sharon, Rachel and me! Awesome Beethoven Op. 18 No. 4, you guys!!!
The other two members of our quartet were actually Cleveland Institute of Music alumni! Sharon on cello and Tyler on viola - Tyler and I actually overlapped at CIM for a couple of years but I don't think we ever ran into each other :( We had fun with this quartet though!
We rehearsed for a couple of hours on Sunday, then did another short rehearsal on Monday before our run through at the church. We ended up performing last on the program, and it ended up being PRETTY warm on stage, but I think we were all really happy with our performance and I certainly had a great time!
Annika shows me which of the pieces she's working on is her favorite!
After my concert on Saturday I saw a lot of young audience goers who were members of the Missouri Symphony Conservatory. They were so thrilled to meet me and see me play that I offered to give a few of them lessons. I taught two of them today - Solveig and Annika. They're both 12 and are doing absolutely wonderfully in their violin studies!! They were such sweet and hard working girls, it was a real treat for me to work with them! Tomorrow I work with three more kids and I can't wait to see what they bring for me!
Our assistant conductor, Adam, hands out batons to the next kids in line!
Tonight was the Missouri Symphony's first Family Concert of the season. The concert was titled, "What Do You Like On Your Pizza?" The concept was to teach the audience about the Theme and Variation form of music by comparing pieces to building a pizza. Such as how Pachelbel's Cannon uses a ground base, which is like the base crust of a pizza on which you put all sorts of toppings. And how some pieces have variations based on nationalities (we used an arrangement of Pop Goes the Weasel that had Swedish, Jewish, Viennese and American variations) - much like how you can use different toppings to make many national-flavored pizzas. Near the end of the program was our March section where the kids in the audience were able to come up on stage to have a chance at conducting the orchestra. Rachel and I got to sit in the back and help the kids work on their conducting skills before they stepped up onto the podium ;)
Very fun concert, and I definitely went out for pizza after!
On Saturday night I performed the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor with the Missouri Symphony! I have dreamed of playing this piece with orchestra for years so this was truly a dream come true!
Working with the Missouri Symphony this week has been a blast! We had a sort of preview rehearsal with most of the orchestra members on Tuesday evening and then the real rehearsal was on Friday afternoon. Two and a half hours of Shostakovich-y bliss!
I felt so lucky to have basically a whole afternoon to work on the piece. It gave us plenty of time to figure out transitions and run the faster movements a couple of times.
The day of the concert I got up early to practice (but made sure I got a good night's sleep) and had the dress rehearsal at 11:00. We did a couple of spots and then did a whole run through of the piece. Isn't the Missouri Theatre beautiful?
The rest of the afternoon I practiced, rested and snacked on a few things. It can be hard to find the appetite to eat anything the day of a big concert! I grabbed the things I needed where I was staying like my dress, make up and curling iron and then went back to the hall to get ready.
After the overture Ruslan and Lyudmila it was time to go on stage! I said a quick prayer to remind myself that everything is in God's hands and that this performance would be for Him and then walked out to the audience applause.
It was such an exhilarating experience playing this whole piece with orchestra in front of an audience! I've played many concertos with orchestras before, but this one was new for me and it was such a thrill! The first movement was dark and contemplative, the second movement was exciting and full of character contrasts, the third was heartfelt and passionate, and the increasingly intense cadenza blasted its way into the fourth movement which kept driving forward all the way to the end! By the time it was over I felt like I had run a marathon!
This was certainly one of the top performances I've been happiest with. I think it's mostly because the piece is just so spectacular, it's amazing to play it at all!
I want to sincerely thank the Missouri Symphony Orchestra for their amazing work on this piece. I felt so comfortable playing with them and the accompaniment is not easy! Not to mention putting it together with the soloist! I couldn't have asked for a better set of musicians playing behind me or a better conductor to work with! Thanks, Dad ^_^
I got a couple of pictures backstage during the intermission - here's one with my dad :)
Thankfully I had my sister around to carry my violin for me because I certainly couldn't walk up and down the stairs very easily in my dress! :P
After the intermission I went into the audience with my mom, sister and grandmother to watch the Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" Symphony on the 2nd half. It was an incredible and moving performance! I just LOVE the Presto 3rd movement of that symphony!
I got to talk to a lot of the audience members at intermission and after the concert. I'm always glad to get to do that and am sorry that I don't get to see everyone! I got a few pictures with some of the kids from the Missouri Symphony Conservatory, which was super fun! Here's a picture with Annika! She was so great and took some pictures for me during the Friday afternoon rehearsal! Thanks, Annika! <3
The next morning I was very surprised to find a giant color photo of me in the paper! I'm SO happy that they found my new pictures on my website!! Thanks again, Kate Lemmon for the amazing photography! It looks INCREDIBLE in the paper!
Yesterday I had my bi-annual student recital at the New Heart Christian School of music! There were a couple of students who weren't able to participate, and a few who dropped out the week before, but I did have 12 students who played and performed superbly!
All ages and levels took place in this recital, from my 5 year old performing pieces in Suzuki Book 1 to my juniors and seniors performing Wieniawski Concerto No. 2 and Sarasate's "Carmen Fantasy". It was a really exciting concert!
My friend and amazing pianist, Kyle Orth, drove all the way down to Houston from Dallas to rehearse with my students on Friday and Saturday and then accompany them in the recital. It certainly made things a lot less hectic having a great pianist who can play pretty much anything on the fly! Thank you so much, Kyle!
I am so proud of all of my students and all of the hard work they've done. They really did splendidly yesterday, especially considering the fact that I've been gone so much the past month, and for many of them this is their last week of school!
Great job, everyone! I can't wait for the next recital! :)