September 2008

Inquisitive Children - an Update

September 28, 2008 14:43

I'm amazed, and humbled - yesterday I came home to receive an envelope filled with thank you cards made by the sixty or so children in the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School after school program! WOW!

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Traveling - and Inquisitive Children

September 21, 2008 17:47

Photographer Peter Lindbergh, in a 1998 interview during which he speaks about his life, says "I experience so many different sensations every day that it has become like a drug. Every day, something new happens to me." Of course, if one is open to life every day, this is most definitely true, but the statement speaks of a heightened reality - that of those who travel constantly for their work. While I am not comparing myself to Peter Lindbergh in terms of "career" - Lindbergh being a much in-demand and globally respected fashion photographer - I found myself agreeing with his statement on Friday, September 19, 2008 when, upon landing in the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport I heard cheering. Following my curiosity, I followed the sounds…and was delighted to chance upon a crowd standing at the international terminal cheering for our servicemen who were, on that day, coming home from Iraq.

How easy it is for all of us in these days of working, traveling, going to and fro – being focused solely on the “self” – to forget to stop and step out of ourselves for a moment. I was reminded of this on Thursday – concert day – when I went to visit an afterschool program at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. This was not a part of the “official schedule”: I was asked by the music professor at Kent State- Ashtabula. With the program that I was scheduled to play being the most formidable in my career to-date, I almost declined – is our natural tendency to hide away, somewhat panicked, as opposed to opening and sharing ourselves – but realized that I would, by being the guest, be recreating the many visits by members of the Charleston Symphony that I witnessed at the same age of many of the participants in the program, most of whom had not been truly “exposed” to classical music. With that, it would have also been incredibly selfish of me, with a day free save for playing a concert, to say “no” to a group of children who were slowly stepping into the waters just as I did at their age – just as many of us, perhaps?

So, I went...and I have to say that I was amazed at the level of inquisitiveness that I found in this group of children, aged nine to twelve, some of whom will be starting in a new strings program later in the school year! While I cannot remember all of the questions, it is safe to say that of course, children are always watching, always curious – and it is our responsibility to keep that sense of openness, not only for ourselves but also FOR them, particularly when we participate in “educational and community engagement” activities.

As far as the recital later that evening – well, I’m glad that I took the time out of myself and away from the music stand to answer some questions. Incidentally, while I was incredibly anxious about this one, I have to say that it went went well...despite my angst-farming about performing an entirely new program as a season opener!

More from the road,

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More From The Road Later - but first, a great moment in time...

September 19, 2008 02:39

I will, after I get home, write more about this trip to Ashtabula, Ohio, which has been wonderful and enlightening. However, while I take a break from packing I am also taking the time to share a video with you all - of course, this is readily available via YouTube: Kyung Wha Chung, the fiddler's fiddler, playing the Third Movement of the Bruch Concerto, Op. 26.

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Sonata for Clavier and Violin, K. 526

September 10, 2008 12:41

The day of playing
with Mr. G.'s transitional bow -
yes, the one that they used in Mozart's time,
neither Baroque nor Tourte -
is fresh in my psyche
as I work
to taper and bloom...

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Pressing On, Moving Forward

September 7, 2008 16:27

Greetings from Baltimore, Maryland - funny, I have to wonder if my life's karma includes dealing with tropical disturbances, considering...

As the summer closes and seasons open, I would like to announce that I am opening my season in Ashtabula, Ohio on September 18, 2008 in the first recital on the Kent State-Ashtabula Classical Concert Series. This performance, to be played with pianist William Shaffer, includes Mozart's Sonata in A Major, K. 526, William Grant Still's Suite for Violin and Piano, Arthur Foote's Sonata in G Minor, Op. 20, and short pieces by Ole Bull and Fritz Kreisler. Should anyone be in the Cleveland/Ashtabula area, it would be a pleasure to have you in the audience!

The remainder of the year includes more performances with Knoxville's Carpetbag Theatre - those performances taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina and Seattle, Washington. It has been a joy to step into the "new role" and I of course look forward to more.

Wishing you all a great start to the 2008-2009 season!

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