Chamber Music in Colorado and California

In my last post I wrote about going to Boston in the second week of February. I'm still really excited about that (particularly to see friends and make fantastic music!), but before then, I have a little more traveling to do... On Tuesday I'm heading to Denver, Colorado, where I'll collaborate with the amazing Dr. Patricia Surman, with whom I was in school at the University of North Texas. We're going to be performing trios for flute, viola, and piano, along with Dr. Jooeun Pak, with whom I'm very much looking forward to collaborating. Our recital is on Wednesday, 1 February at 7:30 at the King Center (755 Lawrence Drive) of Metropolitan State University of Denver. The following day, the three of us will fly to San Francisco, and give the recital again on February 3rd in the Fireside Room at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (505 E Charleston Roard), in Palo Alto, CA.

My concertizing this semester has gotten me thinking about how far I've come since my student days. Back then (and as most students still do), I would work on a piece for a semester or longer, meeting several times a week with my chamber group and getting weekly coachings and other feedback. Now I have one to three rehearsals, and boom, a concert. It's kind of crazy, but also really cool. It's so satisfying to have gotten to a point where you can meet up with other professional musicians, work hard for a few hours, then give a convincing and emotional performance. It's empowering to realize that I've truly made it to "the other side of the desk" (as I like to describe being a professional, instead of a student).

It reminds me of a rehearsal I attended several years ago. It was when I was still living in Denton, TX, and I learned that Kim Kashkashian was going to be giving a trio recital at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. I had a gig the night of the concert, so I emailed Kim and asked if I could attend a rehearsal instead, to which she agreed. I don't recall all of the pieces on the program (or even the other performers!), but they were performing the Debussy Trio (for flute, viola, and harp). I sat quietly in the audience, and listened carefully to the exchanges the musicians had with each other, talking about phrasing and various musical ideas, and the quick pace at which they rehearsed and fixed any small problems. It was so enthralling, I decided it was worth it to get a parking ticket (I was only able to put 2 hours on the meter), and stayed for the entire rehearsal, which I think lasted about 3 hours, though to me it seemed to fly past. I distinctly remember the feeling I had as I walked back to my car. It felt like I'd been a part of a really special musical moment in time. I learned so much from the way the musicians interacted, and the things they said to each other and how that changed the music they were making. It was absolutely fascinating, and I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Kim and her companions. I was truly inspired, and moved by the power of good music made by exceptional musicians. I strongly urge you to attend rehearsals of amazing musicians, if you are able. There's so much to learn, and on a completely different level than what you get from attending concerts.

I hope those of you in the Denver and Bay Areas will join me and my friends for one of our concerts next week. Happy practicing!