Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Vacation in Saratoga Springs, NY

Ever since I was born, I spent the month of August in Saratoga Springs. Since both of my parents were members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which made their summer home at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, we would pack up the family and head to upstate New York, where we stayed on the campus of Skidmore College. I have the fondest memories of Saratoga as a child, from the duck pond on campus and horses near Lake George, to the funky shops and restaurants in town. This past August, I traveled to Saratoga Springs for the first time in 5 years! It was a welcome vacation after the Music@Menlo craziness, one which allowed me to spend time with my mother when she wasn't working with the orchestra and with my boyfriend when he wasn't conducting at the Luzurne Music Center. The rest of the time, I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep, go for peaceful walks, and practice a little (after a few weeks of constant-playing and no practicing at Menlo).

Exploring the woods on campus

Stewart's ice cream! This stuff is the best. When I sent this picture to my
brother, he asked me to find out if they ever ship orders of the stuff.

The Philly Orchestra at SPAC. This sound is like home to me.

Radu conducting the LMC String Orchestra

With Radu on our day trip to Manchester, VT

I'm very grateful for the time spent in such a beautiful and restorative environment. It was so touching to see how much has changed, yet how much has remained exactly the same was when I was a kid. All in all, a lovely way to end the summer. Now, back to the school year grind!

Until next time,

Monday, September 2, 2013


Greetings and my apologies for the lack of updates recently! My experience at Music@Menlo was absolutely incredible, but very time consuming. Immediately thereafter, I traveled to Saratoga Springs, New York to visit my boyfriend and my mother, who were there for music-related work. Since then, I have been busy getting settled in NYC and figuring out scheduling for the upcoming semester.

Masterclass with Wu Han
Photo courtesy of Music@Menlo
I wanted to write a post on Music@Menlo and my experiences there for awhile now! I'm not sure I can adequately sum up the sheer amount of inspiration and knowledge acquired during my time there. The schedule was very intense, usually running nonstop from 8am-12am or later. Our days were filled with coachings, rehearsals, informal lectures and discussions, formal lectures, masterclasses, and attending the performances of the Young Performers program, our fellow colleagues in the International program, and the senior artists of the festival (the quality of which was outstanding), as well as going to the parties and donor events hosted afterwards.

Coaching on Dvorak American with Jorja Fleezanis
Photo courtesy of Music@Menlo
While I was there, I gave two performances each of Dvorak Piano Quintet in A major, Beethoven "Ghost" Piano Trio, Dohnanyi Piano Quintet no. 2, Dvorak American Quartet, and Mendelssohn Piano Trio no. 2 in C minor. We had anywhere from 2-5 days to put together these works, receiving numerous coachings from many different artists (I think we saw 7 different people for the Dvorak Piano Quintet prior to our performances!).

Performance of Beethoven "Ghost" Piano Trio
Photo courtesy of Music@Menlo
In addition to all things musical, we also had lots of development related sessions, including time with the marketing, events, and public relations staff. We even were lucky enough to work with the photography interns to receive new head shots!

Photo credit: Diana Lake
I will always be grateful for my experience at Music@Menlo. I learned so much about myself, what it means to sit down and interpret a work, and how to deal with such a busy schedule and still be the best version of myself as a musician and as a person. To hear more about my experience, check out the video Music@Menlo "To Be an IP", put together by the talented videographers at Music@Menlo.

Until next time,