So today was a very exciting day for both Nana and me! For the sake of people who tend to lose interest and drop out mid-post, I'll start with the biggest news, and work my way down the totem pole:
I've been accepted into the DMA program at Juilliard, and I can't stop grinning like an idiot. Looks like I'll be in New York for another few years, which I suppose means I can continue to meet all these New York composers who have just recently discovered that I'm up for doing contemporary (read: composed within the past few years) music. It's actually a little ridiculous how under the radar I was through February, and then *bam* emails from people I don't know. Add to this the Juilliard collaborative pianists whom I am also just getting to know, and you end up with a concert schedule like this. (FYI, January 2011 as the start of the concert has little to do with the new year. I literally did not have any performances between TMC and January. Sad, right?) So I guess what I'm saying is: I'll still be around in the fall, and I acknowledge the bulls-eye on my chest. Hit me with gigs.
Next on the totem pole: I shook John Corigliano's hand! And I premiered Michael Ippolito's Second String Quartet today. The former possibly a result of the latter. Michael's quartet is actually one of my favorite compositions by a young composer. (I initially typed "student composer", but I don't think it's fair to give the impression of this quartet as a student work.) There's a lot of energy in the music, which is just the way I like it. Perhaps there was a bit more crunch today than is ideal, but I don't think it detracted too much from the performance. It was a nice contrast from his piece for cello quartet, which was much less crunchy. Of course, a lot of what I play tends to be crunchy--it's a vice I'm working on.
And the last item of today has nothing to do with music. To celebrate my acceptance back into Juilliard--as well as Nana potentially getting a new teaching gig!--Nana and I went to Shimizu, a Japanese restaurant hidden on 51st St between Eighth and Ninth Ave. Of the few restaurants I've patronized in NYC, this is easily my favorite. It doesn't feel like a typical "Japanese restaurant in America", by which I mean a restaurant that inevitably serves all the staples of Japanese cuisine: sushi, curry, tempura, noodle soups (ramen, udon, soba), and donburi dishes, side-by-side on the menu. Shimizu somehow feels (to me, an American-born Japanese) like a Japanese place. Of course their menu is full of traditional Japanese dishes, but they also have their own creative dishes that I've never seen anywhere else. Heck, I didn't think it was possible for potato salad to feel Japanese, but THEIR POTATO SALAD FEELS JAPANESE. (They serve a tiny portion of potato salad to all the customers, as sort of a pre-appetizer. There's an official term for this, I'm sure, but I don't know it.) Also, their fish is incredibly fresh. Check it out if you're into real Japanese food.
Giving birth to a website is easy. Raising and nurturing it is a little more complicated. In these opening few days, you may find some errors as I create and delete pages, add and subtract links, and basically obsess over this site like a mother with her first-born. But rather than stay away until the dust has settled and the smoke subsided, I invite you to join the fun! As I figure out what and what not to include on pages such as my audio page, you will find recordings popping up and down like a mole in an arcade machine.
As of now (6:30pm EDT on Friday 3/25), there are seven audio recordings up: Brahms Sonata No. 2, because this is the first piece Nana and I put together; Bach G minor Fuga, as an example of solo violin playing; Schubert Rondo Brilliant, because I'M PLAYING A STRAD; Lasser Berceuse Fantasque as an example of contemporary music (though far from avant-garde); Dutilleux Ainsi la nuit, a contemporary string quartet that IS avant-garde; Haydn Quartet Op. 20 No. 5 because this is possibly my single favorite quartet recording of myself; and Piston Piano Trio, a 20th century trio that I challenge you to find anywhere else (it's not on YouTube or Amazon, I'm pretty sure.)
Hopefully this will whet your appetite. Next opportunity to hear me live is in two weeks! (See concerts for details.)
Following my "Strad For Lunch" recital at the WMP concert hall, a lady came up to me and asked if I had any upcoming concerts. Outwardly, I responded that this recital was unfortunately the last in a series of performances I've had this spring. Inwardly, I cursed myself for not having a business card or a website--I hadn't even included my contact information in the program!
A few hours later, this website was born. Here I'll announce all my future performances, as well as thoughts I deem worthy of sharing. Hope to see you in the audience, or even backstage after a concert!