Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rubbing Shoulders With Another Celebrity

Last weekend we finally came back to home sweet home - NYC! We played on Sunday in a new series called Prism Concerts at Central Synagogue (Lexington Ave at 55th St.) run by Judy Clurman. In addition to our old favorite, Mendelssohn's D minor trio, we played a really interesting trio by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco - his No. 2 in G minor.

The rest of the program included some organ pieces on the Synagogue's beautiful organ, some choral pieces with Judy Clurman's accomplished Festival Choir, and some songs by the amazing opera star, Deborah Voigt! Over the years I've enjoyed hearing her at the Met in performances of Tristan, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Ariadne auf Naxos, Les Troyens etc.... So, it was an honor to share a stage with her.

Concert with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio

We just want to say one more BIG thank you to our wonderful friends and mentors, Sharon Robinson, Jaime Laredo and Joseph Kalichstein! We had the amazing opportunity to play a couple of concerts with them last month (at the Chamber Music Society of Detroit and at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival). We were so honored to be the first recipients of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio award and this was just one of the amazing things that's happened as a result. I've been listening to their recordings since I was a kid, but to be on-stage with them was a totally new and special experience. Now we're just wondering if we can convince someone to write a piece for double-trio!

We were joined in the concert by Gail Williams, a wonderful horn player and also an avid marathon runner! I've always been so impressed by the dedication and commitment it takes to train for and run marathons (my boyfriend, Aaron, has also run a few himself). I hope that sometime I'll be able to attempt such a thing myself. But in any case, I loved Gail's beautiful sound and watching her confident, relaxed approach to what is commonly conceded to be the hardest instrument to play.

But of course none of this would have been possible without the vision of Lois Beznos, the president of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. It was Lois who dreamed up the idea of having an award for piano trios and who worked tirelessly with Sharon Robinson to design the perfect award (including 20 concerts at the best chamber music series in the US, a debut cd, a 2 week educational residency, and these amazing collaborative concerts). Here's a picture of us with Lois and Willa Walker (left) and Karen Isble (right) of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. Willa was the mastermind behind our 2-week educational residency program in the Detroit area schools.

And the last thank you goes to the amazing Jerry Beznos, Lois's husband, who was the photographer for the more professional looking photos on this post ;-)

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Our Condo

While we're here in Detroit for our 2-week educational residency, we've been staying in a beautiful condo at Aldingbrooke in a suburb of the city. It's sure beats the Holiday Inn! And after so many restaurant meals, it's great to have our own kitchen.

Donna is the best cook of the trio, though I've also made a couple of very edible things during our stay here. The others laugh at me because each time I cook, I end up with enough food for 8 people and then have to eat it leftover for days. But everyone who really knows me knows that my boyfriend, Aaron, is the real chef. At best I'm the worst, the dish-washer ;-)

Thursday, May 4, 2006

My Run-In With The Law

I was driving in the far right lane on I-94 between Detroit, MI and Kalamazoo, MI when I saw a cop giving somebody a ticket in the breakdown lane up ahead. A conscientious driver, I quickly slowed from 71 down to an irreproachable 64 mph. I was thus very surprised to see flashing lights in my rear view mirror a minute later. I was being pulled over! With heart racing, I immediately pulled off onto the shoulder, rolled down my window, and pulled out my license and the rental car agreement.

Donna had been happily dozing in the back seat. She was now awake and, I suspect, not terribly impressed with my performance as trio driver of the day.

The officer walked up to the window and started asking questions about where I was going and, when he saw my New York license, why I was in Michigan. Eventually he asked if I knew why he had pulled me over. Meekly, I said that I did not.

He then explained to me that there had been several recent accidents where police officers were hit by oncoming cars while they were giving speeding tickets. Michigan had responded by creating a law requiring all cars to switch out of the far right lane whenever they passed emergency vehicles on the side of the road. This idea makes perfect sense to me, but I had had no idea it was Michigan law. After I explained this to the officer, he let me off with a verbal warning.

So I'm now warning all of you!