Monday, April 4, 2011

The Salon Concert

Hello and Happy Spring!

What an amazingly busy March for Cicely and I; today seemed like the first "normal" school routine in nearly a month! We had a great recording session for "Living in 2010" during spring break, followed by two duo concerts in New York, and soon after returning to Bloomington it was Artist Diploma Solo Recital time! Though exciting (and a little nerve-wracking!) to prepare entirely different repertoire (and lots of it!) for performances within days of each other, as always, the challenge of the experience taught me many things. I will not say "glad that's over!" but I must admit it is a relief to once again begin fresh with something new.

One of the performances we gave this month stood out for me. It was a duo concert for the Mt. Kisco Chamber Music Association in Armonk, NY. By now we have been able to experiment with many types of programs, repertoire, and formats for our duo performances, which also benefit greatly from some added discussion along the way. Incorporating all of these different elements together in a coherent, enjoyable way has been a fun and interesting process for me, but there is one important variable which we usually cannot control: the performance venue.

Well, what a perfect environment this was! Thanks to the great generosity of one of the Association's board members who hosted the event, we had an absolutely lovely space in which to play - a spacious, beautiful living room with room enough to seat at least 60. The front row was close enough to read the music off of our stands, but while in days past I might have found this disconcerting, now I couldn't have pictured it any other way. We've now done a few of these salon-type concerts, and I honestly hope the appeal of them continues to catch on because as a performer (and speaker), I sense that this kind of intimate, but formal setting is truly one of the most effective and positive ways to share music with an audience. So, for me it became very clear at this particular concert that no matter how wonderful and carefully designed the program is, the result is impacted tremendously by the nature of the setting - thank you, Mt. Kisco Concert Association, for the enormously special afternoon!

All for now. Off to Arizona in only a couple of weeks!