All posts by hannahviolin

I am a violinist. I also enjoy running, working out, reading, and hanging with my friends and cat.

Gianni Schicchi

We had two great performances of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi over the weekend.  We being the “Winter Opera St. Louis” or perhaps the New Opera St. Louis, but I think we’re officially supposed to go with Winter Opera.  It was fun!  The best part was that the entire opera was in one act and took about one hour to perform.  Usually it is performed with two other one act operas, but I’m glad it wasn’t.  It was great fun to play and the singers were fantastic, particularly the man who sang the lead.  Instead of performing at Missouri Baptist University, these shows were at St. Ambrose (on the hill).  My boyfriend was finally able to attend (he had always had his own performances during previous shows) so I was glad of that!  I certainly see him perform enough 😉

The Suzuki workshop at Webster was just great.  I learned so much watching Gabe Bolkosky (and a few other teachers, including my trainer, Vera McCoy-Sulentic–then again I always learn a lot from her 😉 ) teach a bunch of group classes.  As readers of this blog know, I get very stressed about group classes.  The best part was, a few days ago, I dreamt I was teaching a group class, AND it went fantastically!  The children were well behaved, and I had all kinds of fantastic new ideas.  Unfortunately…I woke up and didn’t remember any of those ideas.  Oops.  But back to the workshop–as with all Suzuki events such as this, I left feeling very inspired and full of new ideas!  I’ve decided to attend the Ottawa Suzuki Institute in June to finish my training (I’ll be lacking book four), and I know that will be fantastic as well.

Performance wise it has been a busy few weeks, and there’s still more to come!  Our quartet concert went wonderfully, and now I am in the middle of rehearsing for a concert Thursday night at the Contemporary Museum of Art with Chamber Project St. Louis.  I’m excited and honored to be playing with them!

I am currently making a delicious loaf of bread for a potluck tomorrow.  Tonight was the first time I was able to use my Christmas present of an AWESOME Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.  Right after I got it, I went on a diet 🙁 but finally I used it!  It’s a bacon, egg, and cheese bread, and no, it’s not in the least bit healthy.   I can’t wait!

I have been trying to practice more, but unfortunately today my darn index finger started acting up (again) at the base.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.  My good bow is currently in the shop, so I suppose I’ll take it easy until I get that back, and hopefully the finger will heal.  This is why I can’t have nice things 🙁

Videotaping/post chamber music recital

The group class teaching went pretty well!  I was, of course, terrified, but I did pretty well not showing it.  I had a decent time teaching, and PERHAPS even had fun at times.  My biggest problem was that I actually ran out of activities.  Next time I need about twice as many ideas, and then perhaps I won’t get to all of them.  I suppose that comes with experience.

Our recital went pretty well too.  It ended up being very stressful, but we had an appreciative crowd, and I feel great knowing I have now organized and presented my first concert.  Next time I need to allow more time for planning/rehearsing, since things kept going wrong–trouble getting music, blizzards, etc.

Moral of story:  Need more ideas, need more time.

This weekend is the Suzuki Workshop at CMS–I’ll be observing, and look forward to sharing some things that I learn!

Candle thingys

I played a nice wedding over the weekend.  They had these cool flower/candle that looked like a lantern thingys on the end of each aisle. I loved that the wedding wasn’t overdone, and was just nice and tasteful.  It was just me and my friend Ranya, and I think we did a lovely job with the music as well 😉   I don’t usually notice decorations and stuff like that, so either the flowers were really cool or I’m getting to be in THAT way regarding weddings.  We won’t talk about that here right now.

Ice dancing is almost like ice skating…except just not as cool.  I wonder if it’s like playing violin but never learning how to shift past third position?  (insert viola joke here).  Less classical music as well, and I just don’t enjoy it as much.  Sorry!

This week is Mozart Requiem with the SLSO.  I’m planning to go.  It reminds me of the last time I played Mozart Requiem…ah…the Cayman Islands.  That was the luckiest gig of my life, I think.  I went there, played, had a fantastic time, and then the next year they asked different people to go and that sucked, but I guess, hey, at least I got one trip out of it!  I need to be more grateful about what I have and have had, rather than dwelling on things I wish I had.

Gah! More videotaping to come soon…

My procrastination is going very well, and indeed this week I need to videotape myself teaching both a private student and a group class.  I think.  This is how this semester seems to be going–I’m not even entirely sure.  I’m sure on the group class, which will be this Saturday, and I’m already freaking out, but I’m not sure about the private student, I think I have to?  So now I get to panic all week, stay up late worrying, finally do it, watch the thing and cringe at the sound of my voice, and then (hopefully) learn a little bit about myself and my teaching…again.  Probably I need to talk slower and less!

Less than one week until our quartet performance!  It’s been a bumpy ride getting things going between music problems, snowstorms, and the like, but hopefully we can pull off a fun/decent performance on Sunday.  I also hope we get a decent audience who enjoy it.  We’ve ended up with an eclectic program–Mozart, Villa Lobos and Piazzolla–that should entertain a variety of folk.  3 pm, Sunday, February 28, St. Margaret of Scotland Church.  Free admission!

The Olympics!

As long as I can remember, I have loved the Winter Olympics.  When I was in elementary school, I recall our class doing a big project on the Calgary games, learning about the various countries and sports.   Now, I actually haven’t really participated in many ACTUAL winter sports, other than the occasional turn around the rink on ice skates (and I am not talking about anything fancy here, just trying not to fall too much).  But I do enjoy mountains, and snow, and watching figure skating.

Figure skating is the ultimate musician’s sport–where else do we watch sports AND listen to classical music?  At least some semblance of classical music…very romantic/dramatic with interesting cuts (so many odd renditions of Scheherezade, and we haven’t gotten to the ladies yet).  Plus as a musician I can certain respect their level of dedication and hard work.  Not to go on a tangent, but that reminds me–the other day I was watching, and there was a 16 year old skating (I think?) in the pairs contest, and the announcer says “She has been so busy training she hasn’t had time to get her driver’s license!!!” as if this is a huge, gigundo THING that she is missing out on…I think of MANY musicians who didn’t get their licenses by then either, or even later, because they were just as busy (lazy?) and yet, we don’t get to be on NBC…oh well.  I suppose they are trying to shock the common people into how hard athletes work?  I don’t know, I think they shouldn’t sell people short–many Americans are actually able to realize that it’s not that easy to be an Olympic athlete.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s difficult, more difficult than being a violinist, since I don’t see many figure skaters at weddings…

Wonderful week in Columbus

I had a better time than I thought I would in Columbus, Ohio last week.  I played with the Columbus Symphony for an all Shostakovich program, and with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra for a different set of concerts.  It was a lot of fun, though a ton of work.  I thought I would be completely exhausted and unable to enjoy playing, and I was completely exhausted (one day I had three rehearsals plus a concert)…but I seemed to be able to always find energy to a) play Shostakovich Symphony no. 10/Mozart Symphony no. 25 and b) hang out with friends.  Weird how that works!

I’ve been busy since I got back as well.  I’m playing with the Quincy Symphony this week, in addition to teaching and preparing for our upcoming quartet concert (Mozart d minor quartet, Villa Lobos no. 5, and Piazzolla’s Four for Tango).

Being busy is great–it makes me feel alive!  I am not that busy here generally, but I have lived a busy lifestyle before (in Cleveland, for several ridiculously busy years.)  I am hoping I will just continue to be more busy the longer I live here.  A colleague suggested it takes seven years to really become a successful freelancer in a city.  I’m only 1 1/2 years in, so I suppose I need to be patient.  (Patience is not my strong suit, except while teaching others…)

My friend had a DMA recital tonight–I wish I had been able to be there, but she lives in Arizona, which is a bit far to travel.  I hope she did well!