A photo with some of my students at the 12th. Festival Music in the Mountains, in Pocos de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Jan. 9 to 22, 2011. Courtesy of Tamiris Soler (PS: note my "Dracula" shirt - it's original from Transylvania!! :)
(post duplicated from the Strings@tached blog at www.stringsatund.org)
Dear students, friends, and colleagues:
I am back in Grand Forks, after another edition of the Pocos de Caldas Festival, directed by Prof. Jean Reis. Here's the website: www.festivalmusicanasmontanhas.com.br
This year the string and piano faculty enjoyed the valuable additions of Dr. Carmelo de los Santos (Violin, New Mexico State U.), Dr. Viktor Uzur (Cello, Weber State U.), Dr. Marcos Machado (Double Bass, U. of Southern Mississippi) and Prof. Guigla Katsarava (Piano, Ecole Normal de Paris, France.)
On a personal level, I am particularly pleased by the rising of the students level's baseline throughout the years (I startet teaching at Pocos in 2004.) Here is the list of the works performed in the 45+ lessons I thought this year (asterisks near a composition or movement mean that more than one student played that work):
- Sonata in A major for violin and basso continuo
J. S. Bach
- Concerto in A minor
- Partita no. 2 - Giga
- Partita no. 3 - Prelude
G. B. Viotti
- Concerto no. 22 *
- Concerto in G major, I mov.
W. A. Mozart
- 3rd. Concerto, I mov. * *
- 4th. Concerto, I mov.
- 5th. Concerto, I mov. *
L. v. Beethoven
- Sonata no. 5 "Spring" for violin and piano
J. H. Fiocco
- Etude no. 1
- Caprice no. 14
- Concerto in E minor op. 64, I mov. *
- Concerto no. 1 in G minor, I mov. *
- Polonaise Brillante no. 2 in A major
- Sicilienne and Rigaudon
- Praeludim und Allegro
- Sinfonie Spagnole, I and V mov.
- Sonata for violin and piano, II mov.
- Sonata no. 4 op. 27 for solo violin, I mov.
- Concerto, I mov.
- Concerto in D minor, I and II mov.
Each year has a little surprise. I remember one year teaching as many as 5 students with Haydn G major concerto, to the point that I arranged the lesson schedule to have them come in the same day. Kreisler's "Praeludim und Allegro" seems to permeate the festival with its presence since the begining - at least, I don't recall a single edition of the festival at which at least ONE students didn't play it; some years these students were as many as 5 or 6. I am pleased with the shift toward late 19th - early 20th century composers, but a little worried about the notorious decrease in solo Bach performances - are studio teachers emphasizing that enough in Brazil? I wonder if this is merely a local tendency or a spreading phenomenon.
Be as it may, I am happy to be back home and ready to tackle yet another semester at UND!
Well, it's been a while since my last post. I am now back in the US, in my own studio, updating my website (btw, I posted some Eastern European arrangements to the Audio page that languished for a while in my Windows Space).
All in all, this visit to Romania was a very mobilizing experience. It contrasted sharply with my previous one in that this one was entiredly focused on classical music. As I mentioned before, the level of the participating musicians was extremely high.
We played Dohnanyi in Udvarhely (Odorhei Secuiesc), which was a good thing, since we needed some mileage with that piece before we could confidently take it on the stage in Targu Mures. I believe the Targu Mures performance on Friday was a 90 - 95 % one, of which I am very glad, since, after a couple of cancelations and delays, the National TV showed up! I am looking forward to seeing that DVD and, possibly, posting it or fragments of it on this website.
An impressive performance was offered by Christian Lindberg, the Swedish trombone virtuoso. I cannot say I was ecstatic either about his own compositions or the other music selections of the program, yet one has to give it to the man that he does with his trombone more than anybody could imagine was possible! The musicians that seconded him in this performance did also a great job.
I don't know if I mentioned before the extraordinary performance of Frank van de Laar, Dutch pianist. I want to underscore that, of ALL the pieces with piano in this festival, I believe only the Forellen Quintet was performend without his participation! Had we been in the times of the Warsaw Pact, he would have received a medall or something along the lines, for "extraordinary achievement in the line of production of cultural goods" :) a real "udarnik", to borrow a Russian word, although he is a pianist ("udarnik" means also "percussionist" in Russian.)
It was very nice to interact, personally and musically, with the members of the Dutch quartet "Rubens". I hope I will be able to have them visit UND during 2011.
The biggest merit is, of course, for Tibor Molnar, first violin of the Tiberius Quartet, and ideological author of this festival. It is just incredible that somebody would find the energy to organize everything, play (and very well!), and party with everybody else.
Conversations are going on about coming back for the next festival, and I very much look forward to it.
After the festival was over, I spent one night in Bucharest, courtesy of Mr. Vasile Tolan, renowned Romanian plastic artist. I wish I had more time to explore and discover what struck me as a fascinating city, but a visit to the (idiotically pharaonic) Ceaucescu palace, the statue of Vlad Ţepeş (the historical real person that inspired the Dracula character in Bram Stoker's homonimous novel) and a bear in the center of the city, had to do for this time.
Thank you for visiting my blog. More soon!