Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bravo Valley Snow Day :D

I guess it's really just a snow afternoon, but we'll take it! Our duties as the young artist quartet for Bravo have come to an end, and today marks our first day of rehearsal for baroque ensembles... and by "our" I'm referring mostly to Michelle and myself, while Alan and Greg sleep in (cello parts can't easily be doubled, and let's be honest who really wrote for viola in the 17th century??) But we just received word that the wonderful people in the Bravo office have decided to cancel all rehearsing activity this afternoon, mostly because our soloist Chee-Yun is stuck in Paris for the second time - don't fly Air France - and so here I am to post lots of pictures!

and this is actually exactly where I am right now. On the patio of Michelle's and my condo :) which we are not excited about leaving on Wednesday.

Allow me to take you on a little tour of the inside also - our rehearsal space (we don't normally share just one stand between the four of us, I'm not sure what happened here)

an outdoor performance in Leadville, hiding from the elements under our massive tent. Note the tip jar - we don't get to keep that. Also the little girl on the right felt so inclined as to conduct us for Mendelssohn and Beethoven - adorable :)

still Leadville. Mt. Elbert is behind that antique store... Alan and I took a beating there on our first hike of the season (see below)

and we're not even at the summit yet.

but now we are! And we brought Bravo with us all the way up the tallest mountain in Colorado :)

More mountain pictures, because I love mountains. Up next are the twin 14ers Grays and Torreys -
not at all a necessary part of the trail, but I couldn't help it

9 AM on the summit of Grays Peak. Cowering behind a makeshift wind barrier...


freezing on top of Torreys, pointing out Grays using a borrowed sign from a heavily bundled up Japanese team. They were obviously more prepared for the weather up there than we were. When packing one suitcase for the entire summer, it comes down to concert clothes versus hiking layers. Guess which won out. But back to musical things -

around 11:30 PM in a conference room at the hotel where half of the Philadelphia Orchestra stayed. We read through a huge stack of chamber music that night, rotating players except for Alan. He was the only cellist for 3 hours... haha. I studied with Yayoi, who's peeking over Noah in the pink shirt, since I was 9!

performing in the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. An artistic shot inside the quartet by Nate, an intern with Bravo.

Greg makes tuning a viola look good. Photo courtesy of Nate, again.

after a concert at the incredible Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, with the even more incredible Eugenia Zukerman, artistic director of Bravo. We could certainly get used to warm-up rooms that are actually private hotel suites complete with platters of fresh fruit and charcuterie - thank you Cordillera (and Bravo!) We also had the honor of performing flute quintets/quartets with Eugenia yesterday - so much fun!

Time to go hang out in the hot tub, but I'll leave you with the ever fashionable Mr. and Mrs. Luce :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Carnegie! (and one from Norway)

A few pictures from way back in May in New York. Nick has more, I promise.

Getting lost in the backstage maze at Carnegie

Weill Recital Hall... with piano tuner :)

Alan and his seatmate on their way back to Austin

aaand this has nothing to do with New York, but I found it on my camera and had to share. Here is a classic photo of Greg and our friend Live from the Nordica Quartet hanging out backstage in Norway, trying their hands at new instruments.

Monday, July 12, 2010

High Altitude

I have to be honest, I am actually writing from Vail, CO. I realize my last post may have implied that an update would be coming live from Stanford University, but here's the deal - the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar kept us so busy rehearsing, coaching, singing (yes, singing) and generally being elevated to a higher artistic plane that there was simply no time. BUT we do have some news - if any of you have seen us perform in the last month, you may have noticed Nick looks slightly different. A little more Korean, a little more like a girl...

introducing Michelle!

Don't worry, Nick will actually be back with us and better than ever in less than a month. Until then, Michelle has absolutely saved the day - called at the last minute, coerced by the ever persuasive Aeolus Quartet over drinks in New York City, she most likely had no idea what she was signing on to this summer... poor girl. But she has dealt with all our insanity with grace and humor, and we've been having a blast making music with her. By the way, Michelle is totally legit: working on her DMA at Indiana University, juggling a full teaching and performance load, she has also performed string quartets underwater in Korea (we couldn't believe it either) in full scuba regalia. She has fit in just fine with us :) here is a tiny representation of Greg serenading her on the lawn at Stanford:

Also, if you are anywhere remotely near the west coast, please check out our amazing friends the Hausmann Quartet! Alan, Michelle, and I crashed with Isaac and Angela of Haus for a few days in San Francisco after SLSQ, and we had the best time. 1 AM tacos at Cancun, Kingdom of Dumpling, Hot Cookies... I could go on and on, and that's just about the food..

And so here we are in Vail! It's been incredible. Arriving late last Thursday, we set foot in our lavish condos and immediately knew we were in for a different kind of experience at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Performing every day and hot tubbing at night with friends in the Philadelphia Orchestra (which is in residence here for the next week) is not so bad. This festival also has one of the best administrative teams we've encountered yet - which means all we have to do is not get lost en route to the concert venue, and play. This is the life :) more to come soon!