This rendition of “Syrinx” marks the 101st anniversary of Debussy’s death in Paris on March 25, 1918. I’m in the Chapel of the Four Chaplains at Temple Performing Arts Center.
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.
It was a pleasure playing Syrinx surrounded by these beautiful bouquets I received for my birthday. As I played, I looked at individual flowers and felt I was responding to the profusion of colors and textures.
I performed Syrinx after viewing the spectacular Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect exhibit in preparation for Dolce Suono Trio’s performance at the Brandywine River Museum on September 9. Here I was playing on the bank of the Brandywine River outside the museum.
Our program will include music by Dvořák, Debussy, Sibelius, Gaubert, Bernstein, Andrea Clearfield, and Jennifer Higdon’s American Canvas for Flute, Cello, and Piano, a DSE-commissioned work with each of three movements devoted to a great American painter: O’Keeffe, Pollock, and Wyeth.
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.
Playing Syrinx on my birthday was joyful and reflective, spending time with my beloved Debussy masterpiece.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Feeling grateful for all the good things, including beautiful music.
I performed “Syrinx” while perusing the exhibition right before giving a recital with guitarist Gideon Whitehead at Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. It was part of my Dolce Suono Ensemble’s series of co-presented concerts with the gallery.
Our program explored the themes of Paris in the second empire and travel, with works by Verdi/Genin, Donjon, Paganini, Bosch, Dyens, Robert Maggio, and Lowell Liebermann.
In honor of Debussy’s birthday on August 22 I performed Syrinx on campus at the University of Virginia, where I’ve just been doing archival research in the music collection of Thomas Jefferson. He founded the university in 1819, planned the curriculum, and designed the core of its campus as an Academical Village, with Georgian and Neoclassical architecture balanced with green spaces.
It was fascinating to be able to handle scores which belonged to this great Founding Father and members of his family, in the planning process for future projects for me and my Dolce Suono Ensemble.
Joyeux anniversaire, Claude Debussy!
I’m here with the score of Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” trio.
It was fitting to perform Syrinx at the exhibition “A Sense of Place: Modern Japanese Print” at Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. Among the artworks displayed were works by Hiroshige and Hokusai, artists who inspired Claude Debussy.
This concert, on May 14, 2015, was one of Dolce Suono Ensemble’s series at Arthur Ross Gallery, offered in conjunction with its exhibitions.