Monday, November 19, 2012

How I Spent My Summer, rather, My Week

Dearest Readers,

I told you before that my oboe career is very unpredictable. Some weeks my life is more oboe-centric than others and last week was one of them. Three different concert programs in three very different environments, plus three days at Curtis (I took two vacation days for some of the playing jobs) and another event for the Curtis Crescendo Club. And an interview with Jon Fink for an upcoming post. And...and...zzz  #longweek  #collapse

I will work backwards, saving the best for last:

On Saturday the 17th, I played with the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra (pictured above). I don't know how much this was publicized, but we orchestra members donated our services because the organization is having a bit of a rough time. It was a pleasure to listen to young Meta Weiss play a gorgeous rendition of the Schumann concerto. Brava.

Tuesday the 13th was The Bach Choir of Bethlehem's monthly "Bach at Noon" concert at lovely Central Moravian Church (pictured below). The Bach Choir has a very loyal following and it's thrilling to play these free noontime concerts for about a thousand grateful and sweet audience members. We did Cantata 80 and I had a lot of fun playing the second d'amore part. It's always an honor to play with the uber-talented Mary Watt and Nobuo Kitagawa, who did fabulous solos as usual. 

And I realize I'm biased, being a member of the Bach Festival Orchestra, but The Bach Choir has an excellent blog I urge you to read.

Finally, last Saturday the 10th, my friend Byron Kho hosted an informal musical salon that was a nice change from the orchestra jobs I do. 

Byron accompanied me on Ravel's Habenera and two movements of Satie's Gymnopedies. I also did the first movement of the Bach Partita in g minor and a couple of Telemann Fantasies on the d'amore that I rented for the Bach Choir job. 

Byron played a bunch of flashy fun stuff on the piano; the fabulous soprano Jessica Lennick sang gorgeous Mozart, Strauss, and Bizet; the talented artist Madeline Adams got her horn out of retirement for a Mozart concerto (pictured below). Show tunes and rock anthems were also played and sung. Those in the audience are true music lovers to listen to an oboe d'amore a few feet away from them at 12:30 a.m. at the end of a four-hour marathon concert. 

Undoubtedly, many arts organizations are proving vulnerable in this Winter of Orchestral Discontent. But, attention naysayers: Byron's salon, like our Crescendo Club event last month and many other things going on all over the place, show that classical music is alive, creative, vibrant, vital, and appealing to everybody, just as it's been for centuries, and its future is in the hands of very talented people.

After the crazy week, I am ready to relax and work on getting some interviews ready for posting up here. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.


Photos by yours truly from my fancy new Android

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