I played Syrinx for Debussy’s birthday while at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, onstage between rehearsals at the University of Rhode Island. I was delighted to return to the festival and honored to be a part of its 30th anniversary celebration this summer. It was exciting to perform the premiere of David Ludwig’s Paganiniana with a wonderful group led by Jasmine Lin, solo violin, Ricardo Morales, clarinet, Noah Geller, violin, Efe Baltacigil, cello, Natalie Zhu, piano and KCMF Artistic Director, and Mari Yoshinaga, percussion. It was like a Curtis reunion with several of my classmates – we had lots of fun!
This year was a special one for my relationship with Debussy’s music, as my Dolce Suono Ensemble presented our “Claude Debussy Centennial Festival” marking the centennial of the great composer’s death in 1918. The two concerts are being broadcast on WWFM The Classical Network on August 21 and 23 in celebration of Debussy’s birthday.
For Debussy’s birthday today, August 22, I performed Syrinx outside during the solar eclipse yesterday. In Philadelphia the eclipse was partial, and while I played Syrinx the moon passed in front of the sun, darkening the mid-afternoon. As I played the music of Debussy during this awe-inspiring phenomenon I thought of tuning myself to the music of the spheres.
This will be a particularly rich season of Debussy, as our Dolce Suono Ensemble will be marking the centennial of his death with a festival of performances in March and April 2018.
Thank you for your entries in the “Name Those Tunes” Syrinx contest on Syrinx Journey Day 308 (here: http://mimistillman.org/syrinx-journey-day-308-syrinx-with-name-those-tunes). The winner is Lorin Chisholm, who generously asked me to give the prize, my CD “Odyssey: 11 American Premieres for Flute and Piano,” to a student in one of the summer programs and masterclasses I taught.