Did you ever have to write a report or do a presentation about "what you did over the summer?" Elementary school, right? Maybe middle school? These days with twitter and facebook, social media pretty much answers those questions! Recently Betty White quipped on Saturday Night Live that "in her day, looking at someone's vacation slides was considered punishment!"
Nonetheless, I was amused when coworkers asked me about what I did this summer...and thought, what a fun post this could be on the blog.
In June, I wrapped up Classical Spotlight and went on the road with YOSA for their "Great Tour of China." It was truly amazing and fun to see young musicians perform and interact across China. The food, shopping and sights were spectacular too! On the left hand side is a picture of me on the Great Wall of China.
Here is a video montage of the trip with an appropriate soundtrack by John Adams - The Chairman Dances!
When I arrived back to San Antonio, it was time to take in some summer festivals, Round Top International Music Festival and Institute continued their 40th year - it was a real blast to see and hear old friends in Round Top. Also the Cactus Pear Music Festival got underway in July and it was great seeing Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio. I spent a morning with the Young Artist Program and heard a world premiere by Colin Sorgi.
Later in July I took a leave of absence and documented the West Branch International Music Festival & Academy near Hancock, NY. It was a dreamy two weeks of solo, chamber and orchestral music. I made new friends and enjoyed catching up with old friends too - in a cooler climate surrounded by the Catskills. Pictured on the right is a photo of me with the concertmaster of the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra, Sir Lars Bjørnkjær on the deck of the West Branch Angler Resort.
Here is a great example of the orchestra at WBIMF, conducted by Christian Hørbov-Meier, performing Jean Sibelius' Romance, Opus 42.
Now the dog days of August are here and I am busy preparing videos of this summer, plus practicing violin, and setting up the new season of Classical Spotlight (Thursday afternoons at 2pm, returning September 2nd!) I'll also return to Round Top on August 28th for their preview concert of the August to April series at Festival Hill.
I would love to know what you have been doing over the summer. CEO Jack Fishman has shared what he has been up to, as well as some of the musicians of the San Antonio Symphony on his blog. Post a comment here, or send an email and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Clare, afternoon announcer & Classical Spotlight host