Thoughts on life and music.

A Whole New World

We had a great concert last night, Dvorak 9 (New World Symphony) and the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto. The pianist was Peter Laul of Russia, he was pretty amazing to watch and performed wonderfully. He did two encores, I have no idea what they were but they sounded great. The audience seemed to love him, and he made our beat-up grand piano sound awesome. We saw Colin and Dee, and Ambassador Moon and his wife were there as well. It's always fun to have fans in the audience, I could see Colin and Dee in the boxes to my right waving and smiling. Ivana was sick this week so she was in the audience too, enjoying the orchestra from the other side this time around. My iPhone/camera was dead, so I unfortunately didn't get any pictures. Lindsey played the English horn solo like a pro, I got teary for America when her and Chihiro played together. All the soloists did really well, and my random notes of glory at the ends of phrases came out so I was happy.

My Dvorak part came with the 1st and 3rd movements written out in F, the original is C, E and F so apparently someone got sick of transposing and left the part with the orchestra library. It's handwritten in blue pen, but it's actually easier to read than the dog-eared and well-worn library original. I always like seeing which orchestra our parts came from, in this case the music belonged to the Ljubljana symphony before it was ours. We generally have "used" parts, I think other orchestras in this part of Europe donated their older parts after the war to rebuild our library. I don't know if the theater was hit during the war but the pošta next door was decimated, so it's highly possible the library suffered damage either directly from bombs or from leaking pipes and fire.
The conductor was Uros Lajovic, he's very friendly and passionate and conducted one of our concerts last fall. His conducting is a too flourish-y for me sometimes, when the 3rd and 4th horn come in at the beginning of the first movement we just listen to the cellos, breathe together and pray because watching actually makes it harder most of the time. But I really enjoyed working on the piece, it's one of my favorite symphonies. It's also making me homesick, even if it is a Czech man's view of America two centuries ago.

My half marathon training ground to a halt last week because of a lovely case of Strep throat. I found out the polyclinics here are quite nice and very affordable. After my insurance reimbursement, it'll have cost me about $20 to be examined, lab tested and medicated. Pretty sweet deal! I tried to go running a couple days into feeling better, but I almost passed out on the sidewalk and made it about a mile before stumbling back in the house. Kent couldn't believe I had gone running and thought I was nuts, so I know I got a too ambitious because he never discourages anything.

I'm in the process of figuring out my next move once my time in Sarajevo is done, at the moment the world is my oyster. I'm pretty broke, so I'm not completely free, but I could theoretically move wherever I want when I get back. It's a terrifying and wonderful thing. Taylor Swift (don't judge me) put it pretty well: "We're happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time; it's miserable and magical." It's been interesting to get in touch with people and get a feel for where I could go and freelance in the US. I missed the boat on graduate school applications for the most part, but I'm not positive I want to go straight into a DMA program when I get back anyways. I'm casting as many lines as I can, and hopefully I'll catch a bite somewhere interesting. My biggest goals for next year are to keep getting better at horn and have my dog with me wherever I end up. Pretty simple, right?

Dubrovnik Is Magical

Sretna Nova Godina, Dobrodošli 2013