When I arrived in Brasilia, I was able to get on an earlier flight to Uberlandia, so I arrived here at 1:30, instead of nearly 8 PM. So that was nice! I was picked up by the same driver we had last year, Renato, and taken straight to Cora's house, where many smiles and hugs a fabulous lunch awaited me. What a wonderful welcome!
I had another shower at Cora's house, and in the evening everyone headed to the opening concert, where the Udi Cello Ensemble, an ensemble of 8 male cellists, played a few pieces, including a transcription of the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies, from the Nutcracker. That was really fun, but even better were the Brazilian tunes that everyone in the audience (except us Americans!) clearly new. They're such a charismatic group-- really fun to watch and hear. The concert continued with the Telemann concerto for 4 violins (played by 8!), and even more music. It was a great show, but a little long for me, who hadn't truly slept since leaving Muncie some 40 hours earlier.
But I came home to the same host mom I had last year, Marcia, who is wonderful and amazing! This year Annie Chalex Boyle is staying with Darcy Drexler and I at Marcia's house, so it is a lot of fun. It's wonderful to see Annie again-- we worked together at Texas Tech last year-- and of course Darcy, whom I met here last year. A fantastic addition to this year's faculty is the amazing Susan Dubois, with whom I studied for my doctorate. It is really wonderful to see her again.
I got the morning off today, so I slept in (bliss!) and practiced and caught up on some emails. In a few minutes we'll head out to lunch and then to teach and rehearse. I am playing in the Mozart Viola Quintet K516 for the professor's concert on Thursday.
More soon! I'm looking forward to seeing what returning violists there are this year-- they were such a great group last year.