What a Year This Has Been!

Posted By on May 15, 2010

What a year this has been! I don’t know where to start. Perhaps the best place to begin is after my 2-week vacation in Tuscany back in August. I took two solid weeks off the horn. My chops needed it. But of course, those of you who are “in the trenches” know exactly what I’m talking about. I had that horn on my mouth seemingly non-stop up until then.

I jumped back into the performance scene with a Schumann Konzertstück with the OPL back in September. This was followed by a small tour of France and then a rather extensive tour of the U.S. with the Virtuoso Horn Duo and Friends.

It was at the end of this particular tour that I noticed something was wrong with my lips. I’m still not sure what it was, but I developed a major problem with my embouchure! I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that it was a veritable nightmare which lasted until the end of April.

Upon my arrival, I played a few weeks with the OPL and then I was off to the College of Music in Trossingen, Germany where I performed a recital and taught some students there. This was immediately followed by a chamber music concert in the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie in Luxembourg. We performed my own Sonata for Horn and Strings. It had been a while since I had played that piece.

There were a few singing activities (with the vocal octet Intermedii) over the Christmas holidays, and then I was off to Portugal with the Weber Concertino and a week of masterclasses at the Artave Escola Profissional Artistica do Vale Do Ave. While I was teaching at this wonderful institution, I was also preparing for a week of Mahler 7, which I played with the OPL right afterwards. Then it was off to the U.S. for a tour with the American Horn Quartet. Carl Davis “Live Cinema” was on the books for the day of my return to Luxembourg, and a commission to compose a medley based on “heavy metal” music came through, much to my surprise. So I locked myself in a hotel room in Brussels and completed that just in time for the performances in March. The OPL took off for England in April, but had to return mid-tour due to the infamous volcano in Iceland. This very same volcano disaster prevented Kristina and me from undergoing a small tour of the U.S. where we were scheduled to appear at the IHS North West Horn Workshop and then at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. But there was really no time to wallow in self-pity about this as I had a new commission due- The Navajo Mandala for combined Woodwind and Brass Quintets- written for the U.S. Armed Services Band in Europe.

The first week of May saw me performing on first horn with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. And there was a wonderful feature article- interview about me in the May/June issue of Fanfare Magazine.

Still to come before my next vacation: Recitals and teaching at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, compose a new piece for the AHQ to be premiered on our up coming trip to Australia, the Schubert Octet at the 6th Festival Balades Musicales en Voges, France, Virtuoso Horn Duo concerts in Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney, and AHQ performances at the IHS International Horn Symposium in Brisbane.

And then we are taking vacation! This time in Andalucía.

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