Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home! The Tour is a Memory!

The tour was probably the highlight of my 35 years as pianist with the Atlanta Chamber Players. It was also four of the most jam packed and exhausting days of my life. Jordan Hall with its gorgeous wood, its surprisingly raked stage, the beautiful piano... it was simply one of the greatest experiences I've ever had to play there. And music critic emeritus Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe, who heard more than 12,000 concerts during his decades as Globe critic, was fascinating during the pre-concert panel with composer Michael Gandolfi and me. It was frustrating to have to leave at 7:35 to change clothes for the 8:00 downbeat! About 20 of us gathered afterwards with dear Atlanta soiree hosts at the Lucca Back Bay restaurant for a memorable dinner. An early train to Boston the next morning went smoothly, taking us through beautiful coastal towns such as Providence RI and New London CT before arriving at Penn Station. I was frankly a bit resigned that the Boston experience might turn out to be the musical highlight of the trip, but then we rehearsed in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall - and once again I was thrilled with the acoustics and beautiful piano. And it was a personal thrill to walk across the street from Carnegie Hall to Steinway Hall and be led upstairs to my private Rachmaninoff room for practicing. I spent 4 memorable hours there last Friday and Saturday, with Sergei staring down at me from two walls. While Boston's concert was an absolutely excellent performance, for me New York topped it. I believe the ensemble of the group in the Foote Piano Quartet and the beautiful colors of the piano made for one of the most rewarding performances I've ever played. There was no time for blogging during the tour. There was not enough time for sleeping! As more time passes, I'm sure I'll be able to process the nuances and highlights of this memorable tour. But I know already that I have just performed in probably the two most gorgeous halls of my career. Such memories. Such a privilege.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ready Set Go...

We've rehearsed, we've practiced performing the program, we've listened to the performance recordings and debriefed and then rehearsed some more, we've had some tense arguments, we've had some magic on stage... and tomorrow we lift off. 35 seasons. An adult lifetime, a whole career... and this is one memory for the record books. Tomorrow after years and years of hearing about it, I get to actually hear for myself the hallowed music space known as Jordan Hall. And it feels as if so so so many people are responsible for the upcoming experience. I can think of so many musician colleagues through the three and a half decades, the Board leaders who worked to keep the ACP boat afloat, my amazing soul partner who has endured the last 26 years of ACP with me. Thanks everyone, thanks for the chance to meet Jordan Hall in Boston tomorrow afternoon!