What a month!! I've been in Vail, Colorado with the Dallas Symphony for the Bravo Festival this past week and it's been amazing!!
We had a lot of rehearsals and a couple of concerts in Dallas the week before we left. Playing in the Meyerson is an absolutely amazing experience. The acoustics and the atmosphere are heavenly. If you are in the Dallas area or are making a trip anytime soon, please make sure to go to a symphony concert! The symphony hall alone is incredible and when combined with the fabulous Dallas Symphony Orchestra it's absolutely mind-blowing!
I drove up to Colorado on the 27th of June and rehearsals and concerts immediately began the next day. Our first two concerts were pops. On Friday we played a jazz concert with the amazing trumpet player, Byron Stripling, and on Saturday we played a movie themed concert with lots of music by John Williams. I was so excited that we played the Imperial March from Star Wars and the March from Superman!!
On Sunday Jaap van Zweden arrived and we performed Boridin's Prince Igor Overture, Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 with Garrick Ohlsson, and Dvorak's "New World" Symphony No. 9. It was a fabulous performance and we had a great turn out for the crowd. Monday night was probably my favorite concert of the tour. We played Mozart's Idomeneo Overture, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 10 with Anne-Marie McDermott and Alessio Bax, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. I'm always amazed how rehearsing and performing Mozart always puts me in such a great mood. It's probably the best thing to wake up to in the morning! Performing Beethoven with Jaap is an experience like no other. It's extremely intense but there's also so much nuance and sensitivity. His tempi are exhilarating and everything flows so smoothly. He has a really wonderful feel for Beethoven.
Tuesday was our one free day, so after I practiced a bit in the morning we drove to Boulder to spend the day there. We had some really wonderful food at Salt and Med and I found some great buys at a consignment shop! A new dress for my tango performance and some amazing never worn Enzo Angiolini shoes. I have to figure out what performance to wear these for!!
The sunset on the way back from Boulder was incredible.
On Wednesday I only played in the Pines of Rome which was the last piece on the program. The rest of the program was Songs by Schubert and Strauss and Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. It rained a little that evening so there wasn't the best turn out unfortunately, but playing Pines outdoors was a really thrilling experience. The offstage brass stood on top of the roof!!
Our last concert was on July 4th so we had our annual Independence Day Concert. It's not always the most fun music to rehearse, but with a completely packed audience all waving their flags to the music, it gets pretty epic-ly patriotic :)
There wasn't a whole lot of time to do much sightseeing while we were in Vail, and I spent most of my free time practicing, but I did get to enjoy a lot of AMAZING food with friends in the orchestra for pretty much every meal. If you are ever in Vail, definitely check out Sweet Basil, Vendetta's, Matsuhisa and La Tour. You won't be disappointed ;)
It was really hard to leave Columbia, MO yesterday. I have a lot of family and friends there, and even though I was there for almost 2 weeks, it still didn't feel like quite enough time. I was very happy to get to spend some time with my friend, Rachel, and my mentors and supporters of the Missouri Symphony, Edward and Judith Chmielewski. I get so see all of them so rarely, it was a special treat to get to spend more time in town with them.
I spent most of yesterday morning picking out a new camcorder at Creve Coeur Camera. I bought my current camcorder in 2007 and it has given me problems ever since! I'm sure most of you have noticed the quality of my videos and the fact that a lot of them "re-focus" continually. No longer! I bought the Sony HDR-CX430v so now I should have crystal clear video and amazing surround sound audio. FINALLY! :)
The trip home was pretty relaxing - I spotted an amazing sunset again and managed to get some pictures!
Today, my student in Dallas, Ellen Kim, had her senior recital! She began violin with my mom when she was around 5 and I've been teaching her for the last 3-4 years. The recital was a combined recital with her friend and violist, Tiffany. Ellen played Praeludium and Allegro by Kreisler, Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto in C and Prokofiev's Court Dance from his 5 Cinderella Pieces. They played the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia to finish :) She was awesome!!! I'm so proud of her!! She has really come a long ways in terms of technique and musicality, and especially in breaking out of her box and reaching out to the audience more in her performances.
She will be attending Dartmouth in the fall - her top choice school! I'm really going to miss her, but I think we might try to continue lessons over Skype which we were already doing pretty regularly while I was in Houston.
I'm back in Houston now for a couple of days to play in church and give my studio their last lessons for the summer before I leave for Colorado. My car hit 100,000 miles today!! AHH!!!!
Keep in touch, everyone!