Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spring Adventures

Where do I even begin. Imagine my horror upon realizing that the last post on our beloved blog is from 2011!?!? Somehow amidst travels to Mexico and London, several memorable trips to New York, the creation of the Ultra-Trone (a programmed metronome device that deserves explanation in its own blog post), and the constant refinement of our tuning system (please refer to blog video #1) Aeolus' Spring 2012 has not yet been documented here! Let's start with this past week-

We returned to the incredibly inspiring Juilliard String Quartet Seminar for a week of coachings with first violinist Joseph Lin and violist Samuel Rhodes, culminating in performances in Juilliard's Paul Recital Hall by all participating groups. Our first time at the Seminar was in 2010, and it proved to be a pivotal experience in the development of our quartet. The 2010 Seminar also marked the first (and last) time all four of us stayed together in one hotel room for an entire week - thankfully, we have left those days far behind.
We are so grateful for the mentorship and inspiration provided by the Juilliard String Quartet!

Greg and Alan discussing the finer points of Beethoven's Op. 95 with Juilliard Quartet second violinist Ronald Copes.

Finding ourselves with just a little too much free time between our dress rehearsal and concert at Juilliard yesterday, we filmed a brief clip that I feel really captures the essence of Aeolus Quartet violist,  Greg Luce. Please enjoy.

Another highlight of our spring has been some unique opportunities afforded us in our position as graduate quartet in residence at the University of Maryland. Professor Ken Slowik, extraordinary academic and curator of the rare instrument collection at the Smithsonian Institute, recently ushered us into the museum after hours and, to our amazement, unlocked the display cases and allowed us to play on an assortment of priceless Stradivarius and Amati instruments! This was a dream come true, made even more dream-like by the fact that we were alone in the Smithsonian at 11:30pm.
Professor Slowik removing instruments from their display case as Nick marvels at a Strad.

Greg holding possibly the world's most coveted viola - 1663 Nicolo Amati "Professor Wirth".

Thank you for keeping up with us, more to come soon! I promise!