Sunday, March 30, 2014

yMusic plays Duke Ph.D. Composers at Motorco Music Hall

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6:29 PM
This week Durham was graced with the presence of "six hip virtuosi" (as they were deemed by Time Out NY)--a handful of musicians on the razor's edge of the newfangled classical music/popular music merge. yMusic is a sextet from New York, they comprise a nontraditional orchestration of string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet, and they not only play living classical composers; they've actually "inspired an expanding repertoire of work" both by these composers and by musicians important in the indie rock scene. And they all have really cute hipster hair.
yMusic, left to right: Hideaki Aomori, Clarice Jensen, CJ Camerieri, Rob Moose, Alex Sopp, Nadia Sirota; photo by Ilya Nikhamin via HuffPo
In other words, though the adjectives "new" and "young" and "hip" and "sexy" are often thrown around while yMusic is discussed, the group has little in common with the legion of doddering arts administrators tearing their hair out these days
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Dvořák + Mozart 4-EVR, or Upcoming Performances

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7:53 PM
My practice time the last couple weeks has been occupied by woodnymphery (Rusalka with North Carolina Opera, which is coming up Sunday 3/30) and the soprano solos from Mozart's Missa brevis in D, which I'll be singing with St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Raleigh on Easter Sunday.
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Amy Beach Festival at Meredith College Pt. 2

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5:47 PM


On to the repertoire and performances from last night's faculty concert of Amy Beach works at Meredith.

Soprano Jennifer Paschal sits right next to me in most rehearsals of the North Carolina Opera Chorus, but I had actually never heard her sing as a soloist until last night.
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Amy Beach Festival at Meredith College

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6:30 AM

Quick post: went last night to the first evening of the Amy Beach Festival at Meredith, featuring a fascinating talk by Dr. Susan Borwick of Wake Forest and beautiful renditions of 4 Beach songs and the famous piano quintet by Meredith faculty.

Borwick's talk illuminates a lot of interesting and lesser-known interesting factors at play in Beach's life, including Beach's synesthesia and the strange back-and-forth of her childhood.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Carolina Chocolate Drops with the NC Symphony

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9:08 PM
As a high school student in 2005, I scored the coolest Jan term internship EVER at the Arts-Based Elementary School in Winston-Salem. Their artist in residence at the time was Rhiannon Giddens, then (or then recently) a lyric coloratura soprano in the Opera Performance grad program at UNCG. I was musically obsessed with opera, so while I was coveting Rhiannon’s gorgeous, floating high notes, it barely registered with me that she also played the fiddle and banjo and was deeply involved in contra dancing and folk music. 

Following my internship, I remembered her for her ability to control the fourth-graders with the promise that those who behaved would hear her "sing a very high note while bending over backwards." Otherwise, I thought of her as a gifted classical singer who wasn't up to anything in the opera world that I was aware of. 

Then, of course:



Yup, it was THAT Rhiannon Giddens, of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who have since become the favorite old-fashioned Southern folk outfit of everyone in the world.

We went out last weekend to see the Drops in concert with the North Carolina Symphony.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We are both on the cover of "Enormous Ego"

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9:16 PM
Apropos of yesterday's post, I'm reblogging this absolute gem from Hark, A Vagrant. Never gets old.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Chopin Birthday Festival in Winston-Salem

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7:17 PM
Weirdo adventurer convention at ChopinFest
Life in my family--growing up, calling to check in as an adult, listening to stories from before I was born--is all about crazy projects. My parents are schemers.

Let’s take the kids to Europe and all enroll in a French as a Foreign Language intensive alongside a bunch of zitty Dutch college kids so we can come back to the states and loudly discuss other restaurant patrons’ strange table manners in a language they won’t understand.

Let’s start our own record label. Let’s design our own house. It’s 1984! Let’s go on a concert tour of Colombia, but obviously let’s mostly hang out in Medellin.

In recent years, my parents have focused their shared weirdo-adventurer superpowers mostly on Chopin.
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