the orchestra world

what I would have been playing this month, April edition

Wow, is it April already? By now I’d be looking wistfully at the end of the season, awaiting the summer months were I would have some restful times, some travel, and some festivals…

This month looks fairly light on paper – but much was not known when it was printed. For example, we would have had a performance for our annual Gala (by the way, please check out the Gala – it’s going to be an amazing collection of talent and the need is greater than ever for whatever support you can give – with online galas, the smaller individual gifts can be just as important as the major gifts! Check it all out here:

The month would have started out with a Classical Series concert – Markus Stenz would be on the podium, and one of my favorite violinists of all, Augustin Hadelich, would be our soloist. The concerto would not be a warhorse, but a newer piece by the Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy, who has a wonderful reputation for accessible, vibrant works. I’m hoping that as artists from this season a rescheduled back into our upcoming seasons, that this concerto and soloist combination will reappear! Copland’s lesser-known Music for the Theatre (which I adore) and Dvorak’s New World Symphony fill out the program.

The next Classical Series program, which ends the month, is another intriguing one. A pairing by composer Hans Abrahamson is the first half: his arrangement of Debussy’s Children’s Corner and Abrahamson’s piano concerto Left, alone, for piano – left hand, with soloist Tamara Stefanovich. On the second half, a piece by Lutoslawsi and Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony, which I’ve never played – I also hope to get another chance at much of this program!

If you’ve read this far, I will take this opportunity to invite you to take a listen to my podcast Classical Currents – there are five episodes out to date, with a sixth coming this Friday, April 16th at midnight. Check out the page here:

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viola for holy week

Last spring, the Oregon Symphony presented a series of video productions that were a brainchild of the OSO’s Creative Chair Gabriel Kahane and director Holcombe Waller.

My contribution was Nico Muhly’s Keep in Touch, for viola and electronics. It’s apt that that video is being re-run this week – Holy Week – as Nico writes the following in his program notes for the piece:

The complete title of this work is Keep in Touch (Three Missed Calls for Holy Week). The title should only be listed in a program as such if it is performed during Lent…

Nico Muhly – program notes to Keep in Touch

Anyway, it was a daunting and eventually fun experience to realize this piece, and I hope to get a chance to perform it live one day!