My French friend, and wonderful violist Mathilde Geismar (we met during our time Yale School of Music together) started a non profit in France! It’s called CordeUS, and it hosts a two week festival called Academie-Anglicorde. When she asked me to join the violin faculty for 2014, I could not pass up the chance to go back to France. I was reunited with my friend from Juilliard, the amazing cellist Deborah Pae, made fast new friends with pianist Nathaniel LaNasa, and enjoyed the amazing cooking of our resident chef/clarinetist/bass Jay Hutchinson of East Boston Oysters.
I had an amazing time sharing my “American style” teaching philosophy with the French students, playing wonderful chamber music with my colleagues, and EATING!! It was interesting to see first hand how I approach music and teaching quite differently from the approach of the French Conservatories. One can not say that one style is better than the other, but I believe that everyone can benefit from a variety of teaching/learning styles. It was a great experience for both students and faculty, and I hope to be able to go back.
A few pictures from my trip:
A photo from our Schumann Piano Quartet rehearsal, and me performing my “American” piece- Korngold’s Much ado about nothing Suite.
Mozart Piano Quartet group with guest artist Bertrand Denis, Professor of Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, and the Schumann Quartet group!
Now for the fun stuff- I got a chance to hear my friend, jazz pianist Adam Birnbaum with Al Foster Quartet at Sunset/Sunside club. And I had a chance to catch up with my pianist friend Katsura Tanikawa– it is truly amazing how being a musician means that you run into friends wherever you go! All of us do not live in Paris, but happened to be performing there at the same time!
On the downside, being a musician does mean that you rarely get to go sightseeing, or have free time when traveling. We did get a free afternoon and walked around the streets of Paris. I must say that I really hope that one day I will be able to spend time in Paris when I’m NOT working (not that I’m complaining about having work, but, most of my trips to Paris have been work trips, so just once it would be nice to be able to relax and enjoy!).
No trip to Paris could be complete without a trip to my favorite place Pierre Herme. I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but I must say that they are my favorite macarons EVER! The seasonal white truffle macaron will forever be my favorite. <3 I will miss you PARIS!