Today’s Syrinx took place while artist Mary Thumma took photos of my hands on the flute, for a drawing she will be doing. Her daughter Lillia was a harp student at the Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program, at which I taught for the past three weeks. Mary is developing a project to benefit her daughter’s orchestra at the Virginia Governor’s School of the Arts designed to help students afford a tour to Japan. She plans to make drawings of musicians’ hands, and I was honored when she asked me to be her first subject. It is lovely Mary is putting her talent at the service of a worthy cause, and I am happy to be part of it.
My student Angela Choi and I happened upon each other as we each were playing Syrinx and strolling around a practice room at Curtis Institute of Music’s Lenfest Hall. Angela is enrolled in the Young Artist Summer Program at Curtis Summerfest, at which I am teaching. I am enjoying working with Angela and the many other talented young musicians at the program, coaching chamber music, leading wind sectionals and studio classes, and teaching private lessons.
Troy Peters, composer and conductor, lead the orchestra at Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program for its first week, culminating in a terrific concert this evening. He graduated Curtis in composition shortly before I arrived, and currently conducts the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. I enjoyed catching up with him, as well as collaborating on today’s Syrinx.
I was dazzled by the timbres produced by l’orchestre imaginaire!
In a quiet moment between our sound check and the opening of the house, I played Syrinx, before the faculty concert at Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program (YASP). It was a delight making music with my colleagues – Mozart’s flute quartet in D Major with Hannah Ji, violin, Ren Martin-Doike, viola, and Arlen Hlusko, cello, and Astor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango with Louis Xavier Barrette, guitar, and hearing other artists perform works by Schumann, Dvorak, and Ravel. Gould Rehearsal Hall was filled with the young musicians in the program, along with many friends who are some of Dolce Suono Ensemble’s most loyal concertgoers.
Today we completed the Jeffrey Khaner Flute Class at the Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest. It was a rewarding and intense five days with about 25 flutists. At the closing concert, I conducted the flute ensemble of the entire group in works by Grieg and Khachaturian, five participants chosen by their peers performed solos, and flutists performed in quartets and a quintet.
With Jeffrey Khaner, my former teacher at Curtis and wonderful friend.
Leading class on breathing techniques
Performing with Jeremy Gill at my presentation/performance on Debussy
At the end of a full and fun day of teaching at the Jeffrey Khaner Flute Class at Curtis Summerfest, I gave a private lesson to flutist Lindsey Wong from Cincinnati. She is a very talented 13 year-old who is auditing the class. Afterwards, she told me she really likes the Debussy, so I asked her to join me for today’s Syrinx. Lindsey was looking at the score while I played, and joined in for some of it, her first reading of the piece.
This evening I gave a talk with performance on Debussy at the Jeffrey Khaner Flute Class at Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest. I discussed the contexts for Debussy’s revolutionary music – historical, literary, and in the visual arts.
Jeremy Gill joined me on piano for samples by Debussy and contemporaries including Chaminade, along with today’s composers reflecting on Debussy: Kai-Young Chan and Viet Cuong. As an encore, we played a movement of Jeremy’s flute and piano work, Parabasis, which he wrote for me. Jeremy also analyzed Wagner’s “Tristan Chord” and linked it with Debussy’s music.
Today, I filmed Syrinx in a practice room at Lenfest Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest, where I am teaching at the Jeffrey Khaner Flute Class. Looking at it, I thought of Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau from Images for piano. I will call this one Reflets dans le piano!
Violinist Eileen Kosasih from Calgary, who participated in Curtis Summerfest’s Chamber Music for Adult Musicians, and violist Ren Martin-Doike, a Curtis student who was a Curtis Artist Teacher at the program, brought their talents and imagination to Syrinx. We continued into a fun free improvisation.