Pairing food and drink with music has always been an important and fun metaphor for me. Since the creation of The Higdon cocktail, a drinkable metaphor offering a new way approach Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, many people have been asking: will there be a Stephenson cocktail. The concerto by Jim Stephenson, Tributes, could have a cocktail created for it, but I wanted to go a different route this time around. And this idea came from sitting in a restaurant in Chicago with my collaborative pianist, Tim Hinck, who flew up to perform … Continue Reading

No Conductor, No Problem Part 4: Seeking Haydn Amongst Friends

No Conductor, No Problem Part 4: Seeking Haydn Amongst Friends

Honestly, I started off not caring about Haydn’s 31st Symphony. But studying and preparing the work during the last several months for the upcoming conductor-less concert has been an unexpectedly exciting journey. Before I collected and geeked out over the marked parts from Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) library, before I talked with Crozet Duplantier, music librarian, before I listened to the experiences and advice of Haydn expert and conductor, Nic McGegan, I was lukewarm on the work. After the initial conversations about the piece I felt a new excitement for the … Continue Reading

No Conductor No Problem Navigating A Conductor-Less Concert Part 1

No Conductor, No Problem: Navigating A Conductor-Less Concert, Part 1

There are no how-to or step-by-step instructional checklists for preparing a conductor-less concert on Wikihow, eHow, Pinterest, or Wikipedia. But generally concertmasters who find themselves in the position of leading a concert without conductor have some kind of prior experience of leading from the concertmaster chair. This experience generally comes from a variety of chamber music experiences or previous conductor-less concerts. So when planning an upcoming conductor-less concert for my orchestra in Chattanooga, it occurred to me that it might be interesting for non-musicians to know the extent of preparation that goes … Continue Reading

The Next Concerto is

The Next Concerto is…

As of right now, the next concerto I play with my orchestra is top secret. That is until the Chattanooga Symphony’s 2016-17 concert season is announced. I’ve been having a lot of fun dropping hints on Facebook and Twitter about which concerto it is though. But I figured it would be interesting to share how and why I picked this concerto. Since I began my tenure with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, I’d made it clear that I wanted to perform concertos by living American composers. Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto was the … Continue Reading

The Three B’s: Bach, Bacon, and Biscuits

Comfort food. Just saying the words Comfort Food conjures up images of simple joys, comforting flavors, memories of smells and tastes that may have traveled centuries within a family. In planning for the upcoming Chattanooga Symphony & Opera chamber concert which will feature the Bach Concerto for Oboe and Violin (November 8th at 3PM at the Read House), it occurred to me that this is a form of comfort food for the soul. Ideas about pairing this musical delicacy with an edible creation by Zeke Arter, owner of Maple Street Biscuit Company, … Continue Reading

Send this to a friend