Unlike the past two years, I have decided to focus on teaching and gigging this summer, rather than make myself crazy by preparing for competitions. It has so far been a mix of very busy weeks of intense rehearsal schedules and very un-busy weeks of not much to do (and I’m not complaining about either one!).
Since my last post, I’ve travelled to Akron, Ohio and Commerce, Texas for masterclasses; almost went to Seattle twice but was thwarted each time (better luck in the fall, I hope!); performed in Opera Parallele’s premiere of Anya 17, a moving opera about sex trafficking; recorded an album for hip-hop/classical fusion group Ensemble Mik Nawooj; and have scheduled oodles of rehearsals and concerts for the next season.
One concert in particular for which I am excited is my November 14 faculty recital at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. My truly outstanding pianist and friend Zuzanna Szewczyk-Kwon will be joining me for no less than three premieres and my other wonderfully talented guitarist and friend Mark Simons will be joining me for a short set of jazz tunes (!!). One of the new pieces is by the West Coast composer Robert Pierzak, also an alum of the venerable Eastman School of Music, and features my woodwind chamber group Frequency 49 with Zuzanna. I will also be performing Kaija Saariaho’s beautiful Noa Noa for flute and electronics. This is unlike any concert I’ve done before and is not to be missed!
More immediate is my teaching stint with SFCM’s Summer Music West program, imparting my vast wisdom of theory and musicianship, as well as chamber music. Each year, these kids blow me away with their fresh faces and fresh ideas. I cannot wait!