Post Carter

As you have probably guessed, the Carter festival is now complete and we are on to tons and tons of rehearsals for Eugene Onegin...poor James Levine is recovering from surgery, so we have Sir Andrew Davis in his place...a really great conductor, but just not the same, as everybody seems to be feeling. Oh well...its still an amazing opera and we still have the amazing cast of singers including Renee Fleming (among others).

Everything Carter went really well...Enchanted Preludes was the best it ever was and even got mentioned in Sequenza 21, a contemporary music blog. read here. The Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harpsichord got mentioned in the New York Times...very briefly and without names of the performers, but still...mentioned. And the back of my head was featured prominently in a different NYT review (ok...maybe not so prominently)...but whatever...

We are starting to wrap up the summer here...less than 3 weeks left...two more orch concerts...my schedule is significantly lighter now that Carter is over...just one chamber piece and the few remaining orchestra concerts. Not really looking forward to leaving...so I'm not gonna think about it right now.


Carter Begins

This morning was Concert #1 of the Carter Festival...it was really enjoyable to just sit back and listen to the craziness and not have to worry about playing correct rhythms and putting every tiny detail in its place. This morning we heard several small orchestral/chamber pieces featuring the Double Concerto for piano and harpsichord (and two orchestras). Pictured is Carter's bow at the end of the program standing beside Ursula Oppens and Charles Rosen (soloists on the concerto)...it was terribly well received with a standing ovation and everything at the end. I think it will be a very interesting week.

Tonight is the first of two orchestra concerts featuring the Variations for Orchestra and a world premiere of Carter's new string orchestra piece, Sound Fields.


Hello Carter

The Miss Hall's wireless network has decided that my anti-virus software, which I had to jump through hoops to get (since I have a mac and we don't get viruses anyway) is no longer good enough and won't let me on the internet. So I will most likely do all of my internet related things from Lenox Coffee from now on...not that there is anything wrong with that! Its kind of fun to sit and and people watch and drink iced coffee.

I just got my hair cut...it was getting a little bit scary...I'm actually really happy with it. Maybe I'll get one right before I leave as well. (its pictured above)

Tomorrow morning is the beginning of Carter-fest. Starting tomorrow at 8am you will here exclusively music by Elliott Carter at Tanglewood through Thursday. (well, there is one BSO concert where Carter will not be played...but whatever). I'm pretty much brain-dead from it all...five orchestral pieces plus two chamber pieces (with no conductor) all being performed right now. Kind of crazy. But kind of amazing at the same time. I'm doing the Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harpsichord...we figured that we have spent seven hours on only the 3rd movement of the piece, which is about five and a half minutes long. I usually take a nap when we are done to recharge.

My parents are trying to make their way out here as we speak...they decided to brave the craziness and take in the entire Carter Festival...but they ran into car problems in Gary, IN that apparently can't be fixed fast enough...so the car is being towed back to Chicago and a car is being rented...and then they will drive late tonight and make it to Rochester...and then the rest of the way tomorrow. I'll have to play extra well now!


Rossini Complete...Now Carter

I'm taking an afternoon break sitting at Lenox Coffee, and I figured it was about time to attend to the fact that I haven't made any updates here for quite some time. As you probably read in the entry below, Levine is out of the picture as far as Tanglewood goes. Everyone is pretty bummed about it...he was supposed to conduct both of the Carter pieces I was sitting principal on, but obviously, thats not going to happen...Stephen Asbury is doing it now, which is still pretty amazing.

Yesterday morning was my performance of the Rossini Duo (with Shaun). I was pretty happy with how it went. We each did our own cadenza type things, and I was really nervous about mine, since it involved a very large leap to a very high note...but it all worked out at the concert, and I'm glad I decided to do it...

We are in the midst of the Carter Festival now...two complete orchestra concerts of only music composed by Carter, as well as tons of chamber concerts...I'm playing on six of eight orchestra pieces and on two of the chamber pieces, so I'm getting my fair share of Carter. Now that the Rossini is over, I'm only playing Carter through July 23rd...its kind of crazy.

Pictured is my view from the back of the orchestra during Alpine Symphony, which we played about a week ago now. Its really hard sitting back there, especially for a piece like Alpine Symphony where everything is so loud and fast. And I hate wearing earplugs...but I guess you do what you have to to avoid complete hearing loss. Oh well.


Sad Day

BSO Music Director James Levine regrets that he will have to withdraw from the balance of the 2008 Tanglewood season. Because of a cyst causing pressure and discomfort, Levine will undergo surgery this week to have a kidney removed. The procedure has been described by Levine’s doctors as curative, with no other treatment necessary and with every expectation for a complete recovery. The anticipated recuperation period is six weeks - leaving ample time to prepare and conduct the season openings of the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera in September.

“It is extremely frustrating that I need to have this surgery now,” said Levine. “My projects at Tanglewood have been planned so carefully and coordinated in such detail by the Festival administration. I especially regret not being here with Elliott Carter for his 100th birthday celebration, which I was looking forward to more than I can say. And I’m very disappointed at having to miss concerts with my colleagues in the BSO, as well as my work with the young musicians of the Tanglewood Music Center.”

Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director, expressed the sentiments of everyone at the Festival: “All of us at Tanglewood are very disappointed that James Levine will not be with us for his remaining concerts this summer,” said BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe. “However, we are primarily concerned for Jim’s health and well-being, and that everything be done to ensure a complete recovery so that he returns as soon as possible to his musical life with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera.”

The 2008 Tanglewood concert schedule, which offers 67 ticketed performances and runs through Labor Day weekend, will not be disrupted, with all concerts to take place as originally scheduled. An announcement about guest conductors scheduled to take over Maestro Levine’s remaining Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Center concerts will be forthcoming. Maestro Levine led the BSO, a cast of international soloists, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in the opening weekend of the Tanglewood season, leading a performance of Berlioz’ monumental Les Troyens, July 5 and 6. Also last week, Maestro Levine led the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in a performance of Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony.