Tonight you should mostcertainly attend the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra's performance of Blood on the Floor by Mark Anthony Turnage (who will be at the concert and has been working with us for the past few days). Its a jazz/classical piece focusing on the composer's brother's drug addiction. Its lots of fun...featuring several jazz soloists as well as soloists from the orchestra (and they all sound amazing!) And all of the strings are amplified, and its pretty loud. So be there, 8:30pm Ozawa Hall (its the last concert in the festival of contemporary music).
Here is the previously mentioned picture of myself and John Williams:
Heather and I had everything planned out; I brought my camera onstage with me (he was the conductor for the final piece on the prgoram) and afterwards we were going to sprint off the stage and ask him to take a picture before he disappeared into his dressing room. However, he ran faster than we did, and even though I literally ran off the stage, he was long gone by the time I got there. So in typical David and Heather fashion, we resigned ourselves to not getting the picture taken (even though we had been talking about it for at least a week). Luckily for us, there were some more determined picture enthusiasts that staked out a place in front of his dressing room, and convinced us to join them. So in the end, we were invited into his dressing room, we made some awkward conversation (what do you say to the person who wrote the music for Star Wars?!?!?)...I think I said something idiotic like, "I'm a huge fan." but it may or may not have come out in a complete sentence. Whatever. He was very nice, even if he did think I was a violinist. I corrected him, and he made some excuse about there being so many people on stage, which was true. But we did what we set out to do...and I have the picture to prove it!
First come and see The Soldier's Tale performed by Tanglewood Fellows with Milton Babbit, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison narrating! Then come and see the TMCO perform Berntein's Suite from on the Waterfront and the 1812 Overture (performed side by side with the Boston Symphony Orchestra) conducted by John Williams!!! So much fun!
For some reason Heather and I didn't realize that when we perform the 1812 Overture with the BSO for Tanglewood on Parade in a few days, the conductor will be none other than THE John Williams!!!! AHHHH!!! We discovered this today and we were flipping out all day. He even sat in on the Turnage rehearsal this morning (and I kept looking over at him...think he noticed?). OMG, so exciting!!
Yesterday I received the latest addition to my Apple family (which was quite small before, being only my 30gig iPod). They weren't kidding when they said that the Nano would ship within 24 hours (even though it was custom engraved with my name on the back). Within a few hours of placing the order online, the black nano was already on its way to Miss Hall's School from China! It is very cute, but unfortunately, I have no way to use it at all since my computer is dead, and the new one won't be arriving for quite some time. So now I'll have to be content to simply look at it, and maybe mess around with it a little bit (even though there is no music on it at all) Maybe they should preload the iPods with one album...wouldn't it be fun to buy the iPod and get some random album with it? I think it would.
In other news, Pirates of the Caribbean II is a really bad movie. Its too long (way too slow at the beginning) and just doesn't work very well at all. But I'm a little biased because I'm in the small group of people that just plain didn't like the first one. It just didn't work for me (not even Johnny Depp). In other words, I'm stuck in the series for the next sequel, and I'm sure it will be torture to see, so I'm kind of mad at them. Does that make any sense at all?
Two nights ago was the performance of Elektra. It was really fun and went very well (seeing as everybody was struggling to play their parts!). The beginning and end of the piece are spectacularly exciting, but I got a little lost in the middle. I guess its hard to concentrate for almost two hours without any breaks at all (I think 8 bars was the longest rest in the piece). The singers sounded amazing, most notably Felicity Palmer (as Elektra's mother) was completely ridiculous. Christine Brewer (as Elektra's sister) wasn't sounding so bad either. I wish we could have done it more than once (later this summer the triple bill of contemporary operas will be performed twice) but I guess its hard to secure all of the big name singers for more than one performance! It was really nice to be able to do something different in orchestra...the rest of the summer will be more of the same (cute overtures and big symphonies). I'm jealous of experiences that others are having and agree with the what they have to say!
In other news, currently being shipped to me is a brand new white MacBook!!! I want it to be here now, but it won't ship for 5-7 days :( I can't wait to be a member of the Mac world. I also got a free iPod (right now college students get a free Nano when you buy a mac, so I'm gonna have two iPods now!) Yay!
Lets just say that Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada is truly amazing. I saw the movie the other night, and while certain viewing companions found the film to be "nothing more than entertainment" and even "a bit stupid" I found myself only wanting more. Of course, the obvious draw is Meryl's spot on uber-Bitch. Anne Hathaway (who won me over with her closing phone conversation at the end of Brokeback Mountain...more on this at The Film Experience) also does wonderful work trying to equal what Meryl is doing onscreen. I don't care what they say...it was a great movie. And Meryl deserves awards for it...and the clothes were fun. See it because you want to and you should.
Today when I was checking my email, my computer died. It started making really strange and bizarre noises and froze. Upon restarting, it informed me that no operating system was found, and proceeded to do nothing. I don't think that this is a good sign. At all. So now I am going to start researching new computer possibilities...Apple anyone?
Heather and I have started a sunglasses graveyard. Near the beginning of Tanglewood I stepped on my sunglasses, which I liked a lot, and broke them. They went on top of my dresser. A few days later, Heather's fell apart, and they too were added to the graveyard on top of my dresser. We took a trip to target and bought new sunglasses (mine were the same kind as before, exactly the same kind). A few days ago I lost my second pair. So naturally, I took a trip out to Target and bought the same pair for a third time. Now it turns out that my second pair was discovered, so I now own two pairs of the same sunglasses. Which probably is not a bad thing since I have such bad luck with sunglasses.
Saw two BSO concerts in the past two days (with another this afternoon!) I haven't been very excited about playing in orchestra lately, but these two concerts were very good! Friday night was the opening concert of the season...they played the full orchestra version of the Schoenberg Chamber Symphony (which makes a lot more sense in the actual chamber orchestra version) and Beethoven 9 (which people tell me was very controversial programming since Beethoven 9 is typically the final concert of the season). Whatever, I though it was a great concert, and they sounded good. Last night, Heather and I got all excited recalling the infamous French Concert at Eastman when the BSO played Afternoon of a Faun, which was also very good (except one random wind passage that was out of tune). The flute player was amazing. Today, Joshua Bell (who was partying at Miss Hall's the other night at a singer's birthday party) will play Sibelius concerto. Whatever.
This morning I will perform the Shostakovich Octet in Ozawa hall...10am...be there bitches!
Lets just say that Elektra rehearsal yesterday was a bit embarrassing. I'm sitting in the very back and can hardly see anything. James Levine's beat, while very clear, is very tiny...and the tiny beat does not transfer to the back of the orchestra...especially when you have to keep your eyes on the music for every single second since the part is so difficult. Note to string players: if you ever have to play Elektra, make sure you have some fingerings in your part...that way when you get to the first rehearsal you might be able to fake some sections. Translation: this piece is hard as shit. I think somewhere in the final waltz scene the back three stands of cellos were completely lost, beyond recovery...and the tiny beat wasn't telling us anything...one girl even started crying. It was that bad.
So just remember, while you were all sitting around having burgers and hot dogs and going to the parade for the 4th of July, the TMC orchestra had to sit in Ozawa Hall and get the shit beaten out of us by James Levine...ALL DAY.
But seriously...I did get to go to the TMC cookout and a small group of us brought my new massive beach towel out on the lawn behind Ozawa and watched the very nice fireworks show at the Stockbridge Bowl. So there were some elements of July 4th that still happened!!
And now we have Elektra rehearsal again. So I should go and cry practice.
*The title of this entry refers to the phrase that Levine uses to begin the rehearsal. He sits down, raises his hands, gives us all a stern look and says...
Today I will be celebrating the 4th by going to hours upon hours of rehearsal for Elektra. Thats right, even though we had a concert last night (which they threw a party after) we have two rehearsals today (on the 4th) for possibly the hardest thing I have ever seen. Shit.
Tonight the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra presents its first concert in Ozawa Hall. Come and see:
Mozart Symphony No. 35: It sounds a bit heavy, but you all now the classic last movement from playing it in excerpt class over and over again.
Strauss Death and Transfiguration: One of my personal favorite Strauss pieces, I sit next to the one and only Martha Babcock. So maybe by tonight I will be able to play my part.
Shostakovich Symphony No. 10: Its loud a bit cheesy, but Bernard Haitink is conducting, so it should be fun.
8:30pm in Ozawa Hall, on the Tanglewood grounds. See me play musical chairs and sit in the brass section (while trying to manage earplugs and playing at the same time). A good time should be had by all.
In response to Kimberly's comment on the entry below: yes, I did know that Meryl Streep was at Tanglewood with Garrison Keilor last night...and yes I did go into the grounds and saw about one minute of the show (fellows are not really allowed to sneak into the big events like that)...but no, I did not see Meryl on stage. I do realize that a true devotee would chop off an arm to see her from a distance...but yesterday I was content to have just been literally feet away from La Streep. So yeah...