This Saturday night – after my recital in Chicago (click HERE for info on that) – I will be with the Northwest Indiana Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. It’s a piece that, because I played it in Youth Orchestra as a kid, I know so well I don’t even have to count the rests. We would have worked on it for an entire year, and all of the ins and outs are deep in my memory. The problem I actually bump into is that it’s so familiar to me I have to keep checking in with myself to make sure I’m phrasing and playing my solos like the grown-up I am rather than the high-school junior I was. It’s all imprinted on my brain, bad intonation and all. So the challenge is to keep my professional mind engaged while I play passages I almost could play in my sleep.
Fortunately, the other two works on the program – Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 1 and the Kevin Puts Marimba Concerto – are far less familiar. A neat coincidence is that we’re playing side-by-side with the Youth Orchestra on the Hanson, so I’m performing with my students who have been working on the piece since fall themselves. Feels like a nice circle, doesn’t it? It’s why I chose to play this concert – an hour and a half from home in February – instead of the perfectly nice Pops concert three blocks from my house that the SBSO is doing. Repertoire and teaching opportunities trump convenience in this case.
Click HERE for tickets and more info.