Post Seoul Competition..

It has been a very long time since my very first post (and only post as it is) so I feel I'm way past due to grace this blog with my second!  Many exciting things coming up after my month long sojourn in Korea.  I'm glad to be returning as a soloist with the conductorless string chamber group #InternationalSejongSoloists.  I will be performing various works by Tchaikovsky, a composer whose music I've had a relationship with ever since I was a child.  My mother, who was trained as a ballet dancer, had exposed my sister and I to all sorts of ballet theater when we were children.  Every Christmas, we had a tradition of watching a VHS tape of Baryshnikov dancing as the Nutcracker with the American Ballet.  It had captured my musical imagination and it is precisely that ballet and Swan Lake that I would always emotionally refer to whenever I perform Tchaikovsky!

Later in the summer, I will be attending #Music@Menlo, a festival in California run by Lincoln #CMS artistic directors #DavidFinckel and #WuHan.  They are both wonderful humans and musicians, full of life and a love for music, and I cannot wait to spend four exciting weeks rehearsing and performing chamber music there!  Here's a cool clip which shows a bit about Music@Menlo if you'd like to get to know more about it!:

In my studio, one of my pet projects is writing a new fantasy on Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.  I came across this opera when I was studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and was instantly charmed by its childlike melodies and drama in miniature.  Check out my future recitals in which I will perform it.  I'm excited and pleased how it's turning out!  It will be available with my transcription of Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin in the fall of this year!

As I look back on my experience at the 2015 #SeoulInternationalMusicCompetition, I think of the moments on stage when I truly felt that I was part of a music competition, and not merely a violin competition.  I think that in the world of violin, it is easy to get caught up in "violinisms", those aspects of the violin culture which limits ones musical imagination to the traditions of violinistic thought.  Certainly, in a competition, one could feel a sense of security by invoking the past masters of the instrument, and listen to the great recordings as a point of imitation or inspiration.  

In the end, however, competition or no competition, we are left to our own devices when it comes to truly being sincere with our art and expression, and life after a competition for me is a stark reminder that to remain centered in your artistic vision, you must be willing to follow your own unique and diverging path without too much apology.