Thursday, August 29, 2013

John Adams conducting John Adams

August has been another busy month in a busy year. By the end of August I have almost done the same hours behind a bass as the whole of 2012. By the end of the year I will have done 300 hours more than the previous year. Busy indeed.

But I am not complaining - the music scene in Australia is under financial pressure, but its so much better off that other countries. Am an determined to enjoy it while it lasts and while my body stands up to the strain.

The end of my MSO contract saw a mamoth festival of Russian music with Deigo Matheuz, a real star for the future. We did three programs in a week, featuring Stravinsky (Firebird, Petroushka and the Rite) and Tchiakovsky (Violin concerto with Baiba Skride and her amazing Strad, Roccoco Variations with Li Wei Qin (wow) and the first Piano Concerto with Nikolia Demidenko). Sixteen calls in 9 days almost killed me.

After a week off, and lots of physio, it was back to Hobart for a program of Mozart and Britten with the Tasmanian Symphony. And Barba was there too, this time playin the Britten concerto.

And this week we have had the amazing pleasure of John Adams conducting his own music. Adams is rightly respected as one of the best composers of a generation - it was an amazing privilege to work with him. And for one so talented and famous, he is remarkably humble and gracious on the podium. His music is very difficult, both in terms of notes and tricky rhythms. He told a story of a muso in the US once telling him he would go to hell, and be put in a room to play all the parts he has written over the years!!

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