Avaloch Farm Music Institute

I couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring start to the new season! With the Franklin Quartet, I spent some time in New Hampshire at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, where we had the luxury of rehearsing and performing solidly f0r nine days, surrounded by stunning countryside, and nourished by exquisite home cooking.

In our cabin, surrounded by lush canopy and sprawling fields, we delved into quartets from the mid-to-late eighteenth century, delighting in works by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven that represent the pinnacle of the string quartet canon, and discovering beautiful but little-known quartets by Boccherini, Cherubini, and Kraus. One of the many wonderful aspects of life at Avaloch Farm is the fact that musicians share their time there with other ensembles, eating and relaxing together, and sharing their art in concerts at the end of the day. Listening to Ned Rorem’s breathtaking song cycle ‘Ariel’, and to works completed only hours before, refreshed our ears and affirmed our work by reminding us that no matter what our repertoire or area of specialization as musicians, we are dealing with powerful stuff.

As part of Avaloch’s community outreach program, we performed at the Havenwood/Heritage Heights Retirement Community in Concord, NH, and the following day performed our new program ‘The Vienna Connection’ in recital at the First Church in Jaffrey, NH. Life in a string quartet demands give and take, negotiation, patience, generosity, and above all, trust, and all of that requires time and space to develop. We are so grateful to Deb and the entire team at Avaloch for dreaming up such a miracle, and for making their dream a reality so that we could make ours come true also.

Join us at 7.30pm on October 7th 2016 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, when we will perform our program ‘The Vienna Connection’ on the Five Fridays concert series.

The Franklins outside our cabin at Avaloch Farm Music Institute

The Franklins outside our cabin at Avaloch Farm Music Institute

Looking Ahead….

As the autumn leaves begin to collect around our feet, it’s inevitable that we begin to look ahead to a new season… why, summer, of course!

I’m already looking forward to being a part of the faculty for the 2015 Curtis Summerfest Young Artist Summer Program. Teachers, please consider this great program for your intermediate and advanced level students – applications are due March 18th, but it’s never to early to look forward to summer!

Hope to see you there!

Visit the Curtis YASP website for more information:

http://summerfest.curtis.edu/programs/yasp/

 

Curtis Summerfest Young Artist Summer Program 2014

Today marked the end of three fantastic weeks on the faculty of the Curtis Summer Young Artists Summer Program – what a day! Four concerts in less than 24 hours, one giant cake, and many tearful goodbye selfies later, 81 students are returning home enriched, inspired and uplifted.

The precious moments are too many to name. Every concert – faculty recitals, playing new works by student composers, orchestra performances, Stravinsky, Beethoven – was a celebration. Hard work, long days, and deep breaths paid off. I saw the luminous face of a child as he heard his music played for the first time. I played for a young conductor’s debut. I shared a music stand with a teenager whose intellect and enthusiasm re-invigorated my love for Elgar’s orchestration.

Youth is a special time for an artist. The spark is already there. Passion and spirit abound. All are truly themselves. None are jaded. It’s such a privilege to spend time with a young musician, to share with them and challenge them. It’s nothing but joy to pass it all on.

Go forth, young artists. May your journeys be inspired by love, and may we all remain young artists at heart.