It has been just one month since our first semester here at IU began, but
First, Cicely and I are both playing in a fantastic ensemble called the New Music Ensemble, directed by Professor David Dzubay. As you may know from our recent CD #3 announcement (see parnasmusic.com), we are both very passionate about playing contemporary music, so we were really excited to find out that we would have the opportunity to do just that outside of the duo world. It is a small group of about 20 players, all of whom are outstanding. Our first concert is coming up this week!
We love our teachers! Mr. Laredo is a great inspiration for me, and I am having a great time working with him on the extremely large amount of repertoire I have to do these days. Besides being a tremendously supportive and inspiring teacher, he is an incredible human being. I feel so honored to be studying with him. Also, I got the chance to meet for the first time and have a lesson with Josh Bell when he came to the Jacob's School for a couple of days last week; what a special opportunity.
Finally, we have formed a quartet! Despite all of the chamber music Cicely and I have played together, it has been primarily of the duo and piano trio genre and not the string quartet. We are very lucky to have met violinist Tim Kantor, a doctorate student here at IU, and violist Gerry Varona who is working on his Master's. We are very compatible musically and share a common creative vision, but everyone’s unique perspective is always heard. Our coach is violinist Ik-Hwan Bae, who has been working with us on some phenomenal music, including Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet and Quartet No. 5 by Bartok. I grew up listening to the Schubert, so it is a piece which is very special to me; how fulfilling to finally have the opportunity to play it with wonderful musicians like Cicely, Tim, and Gerry!
This is just a snapshot of our many latest activities, but I will be back soon. Speaking of snapshots, I've attached a photo from the duo concert we performed the weekend before school started; this took place at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI. In addition to the Bolcom Suite for Violin and Cello, Cicely performed Bolcom's Unaccompanied Cello Suite, and the composer himself and his wife Ms. Morris were there to hear it!
All for now. Enjoy autumn - it is a beautiful season.