Banff Centre – Part I

I’ve been playing with Trio 212 for about a year now, and we decided to apply for the Banff Centre’s Chamber Music Residency. We are still waiting on recordings of our concerts to arrive, but here is a link to a podcast that we did for Soprano Taylor Strande. http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chanson-perpetuelle-op-37/id410059104?i=95267901 We were thrilled to merge members from several groups together to form a piano quartet and work with Taylor. Since we had all been spending too much time rehearsing with our own groups, we were happy to rehearse with different people. I had to practice my “conducting with my body” skills, as I tried to listen and watch Taylor and convey with my body to the instrumentalists when and how to play. The instrumentalists(other than me!) were- Ari Isaacman-Beck violin, Joe LoCicero viola, Nan-Cheng Chen, cello and Jingwen Tu, piano.

We were thrilled to work intensely with amazing faculty such as Donald and Vivian Weilerstein, Juilliard String Quartet’s Joel Krosnick, Gryphon Trio’s Jamie Parker, St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Geoff Nuttal, Brentano String Quartet’s Mark Steinberg, and Dennis Brott. But the part that we enjoyed the most was the atmosphere of the Banff Centre. It is any artist’s dream as we were taken care of in every way possible. Our only task was to focus on creating our music.

Of course music was not the only thing that we were focused on. It would be pretty difficult to ignore all the beautiful nature that was around us. We hiked, and enjoyed seeing various animals such as elk(!) grazing around the Centre. We also became close to many of the other ensembles that were participating in the residency. And there is the famous Banff Centre food- three meals a day, always waiting for us.

A typical day –

Morning- breakfast, rehearsing, coaching

Afternoon- lunch, rehearsing, coaching, masterclass

Evening- dinner, rehearsing, concert, practice, Maclab(The only bar in the Centre, and without fail would be filled with all the ensembles and faculty every night)

Mr Weilerstein's masterclass

Practice hut

Kinnear Centre- home of Maclab bistro and bar

To be continued

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