We’re off and running on another BSO Academy. There are more than 100 musicians here this year to play side-by-side with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and under the baton of Marin Alsop.
So far, the week is off to grand start. A big difference this year is a partnership between the BSO and the Baltimore School of the Arts. Our first sessions are taking place in rooms that were purpose-created for teaching music, meaning there are lots of music stands and pianos everywhere to support playing. There are dozens of rooms for practicing and private lessons in the middle of Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood.
There have been some lovely events to help us get acquainted with other musicians here. Among attendees I’ve met so far are a retired violinist from the Kansas City symphony who is now playing the harp and another violinist who works on environmental issues in Maryland but also plays the flute and saxophone. This year’s roster includes a significant number of teachers — finally able to attend because this year’s Academy is a little later — after school has let out for the year.
Today, we eased into playing with a fun session of string orchestra and a helpful master class — both led by BSO ConcertMaster Jonathan Carney. In the evening, chamber rehearsals began, and I worked on Mozart with the delightful Ivan Stefanovic of the BSO.
Sectionals take place tomorrow as we begin work in earnest on the Orchestra repertoire, with our first rehearsal in Meyerhoff Hall scheduled for Tuesday. We’re aiming for a great concert on Saturday evening, June 30th.
Sunday morning. Slept late. Groggily pulling myself out of bed, when Chuck sticks a newspaper under my nose.
His picture. Huge. In the Farmington Observer and Eccentric. Playing his saxophone with the New Horizons Band. Continue reading →
The envelope was large, brown, and addressed by hand.
“Congratulations! After careful review of your application, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is pleased to offer you admission to the second annual BSO Academy …”
I’m in. Continue reading →
Filed under Fun Stuff, Opportunities to Play, Personal Journey
Tagged as amateur, baltimore, BSO Academy, camp, chamber, concert, Marin Alsop, musicians, orchestra, symphony, viola, violin
2011 has started in a rush, and it’s already a week into February!
Just back from the 2011 Sphinx Competition, which featured final performances from the Junior Division this year. Congratulations to Alexandra Switala, who captured the first place price with a passionate, charismatic performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto #5 in A Major. Her animated performance stole the show from Annelle Gregory, whose more restrained classic performance was gorgeously rendered, but which left her in third place. My row, however, was rooting for Xavier Foley, the young bassist who captured second place while bending in half over his instrument to play notes in positions never intended on the bass in his performance of the Dittersdorf Concerto in E Major. Continue reading →
As the Christmas/New Years holiday week approaches, Chuck and I have finished a furious round of concerts. The New Horizons Band where Chuck plays had three concerts of Christmas music – one in the midst of the big snowstorm that hit southeast Michigan on the 11th. Continue reading →
I spent a couple of hours this weekend playing string quartets with a group of people who get together every week just to have fun with music. These long-time friends have been meeting regularly for several years, ever since a child’s wedding surfaced a sudden need for a string quartet to play.
One of the regular first violins was away on vacation, so I sat in to fill the spot, sight-reading all along the way. (Mozart at first glance – now THAT’s a mental workout!). Continue reading →
Australia will host the next edition of the YouTube orchestra, and musicians have until the end of November to submit their auditions. The Strad had an article announcing the competition. Selected musicians will play with Michael Tilson Thomas at the Sydney Opera House next spring (or is that fall down under?). Continue reading →
For many, it’s time to get back to the instruments for the fall rehearsal and concert season. Here’s a couple of options if you are looking for a place where you can dust off your instruments: Continue reading →
Three local concerts of note the week of April 12, 2010. Continue reading →
Filed under Events and Calendar
Tagged as amateur, beethoven, Brahms, concert, Faure, Haydn, orchestra, piano, Respighi, steinway, violin
Thanks to Raymond Murphy from Motor City Brass Band for providing these new additions to our *Places to Play* links: Continue reading →