I’ve been invited to teach a viola masterclass at the Mannes College The New School for Music on November 6! Mannes is a school I have a long association with, as I have taught a number of orchestra sectionals and adjudicated competitions there. This, however, is the first time I’ll get to teach there in this format, not to mention checking out their awesome new digs, as Mannes moved to Greenwich Village from its longtime Upper West Side home a few years back.
I am to teach three viola students, who will be performing works by York Bowen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and others. November 6, 2018, 4-6pm. The address is 55 West 13th St. Come to hear us and say hello!
I’m excited to announce that I won the position of Principal Viola of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The audition was held in May 2018.
There were over 50 candidates, including members of the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Berlin Philharmonic, The Los Angeles Philharmonic and others. We were all heard in a completely “blind” audition, everyone played behind a screen and utmost care was taken to be as fair as possible. Personally, I am hardly delighted to have “beaten” anyone else, because this is not what the aforementioned day, and the process that preceded it, meant to me.
I had been playing in the Met for 12 years as Assistant Principal and had witnessed seasons of great success, as well as seasons of relative gloom and weakened morale. My sentiments followed a similar pattern. There were feelings of pressure I had to overcome in order to get to a point where I could deliver my optimal performance at the exact moment when it mattered the most. While it might seem that moving to a seat only a few feet away should be easier for someone like me, nothing could be further from the truth. I plan on writing about this in detail in a future blog post.
I have always loved the MET Orchestra, and the people in it remain some of the most dedicated, serious and inspiring musicians I have ever known, not to mention great human beings. It is my promise that I will help usher a new era of prosperity and artistic growth, at what is proving to be a pivotal moment in the company’s history. And last but not least, I will help the Met’s viola section, who are like family to me, enter a new and very different period, the one we all wanted for so long.
Thank you to all of you who have written or called about this. Couldn’t have done it without loved ones standing by me.
Viola Masterclass hosted by the String Department of the Mannes College of Music
Works by Bowen, Penderecki and others.
I am in Xalapa, Mexico, conducting the Orchestra of the Instituto Superior De Música del Estado de Veracruz, with the soloist Edgar Ovalle. We are performing at the gorgeous Emilio Carballido Hall here, and I have enjoyed getting to know everyone and working on some beautiful music together.
Festival Overture, Op.96
Piano Concerto No.2, in C minor, Op.18
Soloist: Edgar Ovalle
Symphony No. 35 in D major, “Haffner” K.385