Summery

For the record, I do know how to spell. The title is simply some ill-considered laziness, ill-considered because it necessitated a disclaimer longer than the title “Summer Summary.” That would have been entirely self-explanatory but also somewhat redundant sounding, even if technically correct.

I’m going to dispense with the usual blog disclaimers about frequency of updates and quality/appropriateness of content – or rather, by stating I’m going to dispense with it I have in fact addressed it. The usual caveats apply. The simple truth is that, at this point, I still have little to no idea what I’ve brought upon myself with the Abreu Fellows program and am already concerned for my sanity, given the challenges that have already manifested in balancing the program with my artistic ambitions in just the first month.

You’d think that wouldn’t be a problem after the summer I had. First there was the  Kurt Masur workshop with the splendid Manhattan School of Music orchestra in  April, then doctoral comprehensive exams, both written and oral, in May. There was a major audition on literally 24 hours notice, followed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra (an incredible ensemble) Conductors Programme in June, and finally the Cabrillo Festival with Marin Alsop in July and August, the visual evidence of which is appended below.While in some ways stimulating and gratifying, the summer was also presented challenges to the point of excess. Still, as far as problems went, those were good problems to have.

Unfortunately, those kinds of problems, however good, are still problems, and they didn’t end with the summer. I’m now in the unhappy position of attempting to balance the Abreu Fellows program with preparation for a Major Audition (yes, capitalized) with a Really Important Orchestra at the end of the month, while finishing a substantial research paper on performance practice in Brahms. I’m delighted I have the stress of the audition, if only to provide impetus and motivation for continued artistic development. Truth be told, no matter what I learn in the Abreu Fellows program, my credibility in the world of music and my ability to effect change therein rests almost entirely on my artistic capacities, yet the Abreu program is at heart about the function of art, rather than the expression of the art itself. This is a fact that largely reflects pedagogical necessity, not philosophical intention.

In short, I’m busy, and going to stay busy.

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