It's so nice to be back in my little house after 2 months of teaching, traveling, and performing. Twice I went to the Bay area to test out my baroque chops. First at the San Francisco Early Music Society's Baroque Workshop in June (which is in fact referred to as "Sfems," which is a fun word to say) and then back again in August for the American Bach Soloists Academy. In between, I was at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. This was my third summer as a faculty member, and every year I feel more and more inspired by my wonderful students, my chamber group, and of course my colleagues in the faculty orchestra.
And now, officially, my year of exploration begins! Many of you may know that the North Carolina Symphony has graciously granted a year leave from my position to pursue studies in Baroque violin. The decision was huge and ever since I have been swinging between overwhelming anxiety and excitement for the future, with all the different shades in between. Luckily, Barbara Krumdieck emailed a few weeks ago to see if I was available for to play with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra for their 5th Anniversary tour. I can't think of a better way to have started the year than jamming with these beautiful musicians and performing concerts in Davidson, Durham, and Greenville. I have rarely played with a group that exhibits such a unified sense of love and devotion to their art and to each other. It doesn't matter who you are or how long you've been playing with them, you are treated like family. An extra bonus was getting to sit with the delightful Martie Perry from Bloomington, Indiana, who is a regular with NCBO. She lives and breathes this music with her entire being, and I felt my bow control and phrasing improving simply by being near her.
I came home from that experience full of positive energy and set out to increase my baroque education outside of the violin. Turns out you can give a nominal donation to Duke University and have access to most of their libraries. This sounds like a very simple task, and it is, except if you’re me and get lost in both the Law school and again at the Music School library. A few hours later, I emerged with Judy Tarling’s “Weapons of Rhetoric,” Thomas Morley’s “A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music” from 1597, and Joachim Burmeister’s “Musical Poetics” from 1606. Having only gotten through 30 pages of the Burmeister so far, I am well aware that I have bitten off more than I can chew. But it is so fun to see the development of music notation and the role played by both Greek and Latin, in which Burmeister was well versed. I look forward to more discoveries as I continue reading.
Finally, on Wednesday September 7, 7:30 at the Carol Woods Retirement Community I am giving a recital entirely on baroque violin. (Directions) I will be joined by Beverly Biggs on harpsichord, who directs Baroque and Beyond and Barbara Krumdieck , principal cellist and co-founder of the NCBO. We are playing an array of awesome works by Telemann, Pandolfi-Mealli, Corelli, Scarlatti, and Biber. Admission is free and anyone is welcome to attend.
Stay tuned for future concerts and adventures!