At Oberlin Conservatory, where I did my undergraduate degree in violin performance with Marilyn McDonald I was also part of the baroque ensemble led by Jeannette Sorrell. One of the highlights of that experience was performing the Bach Double with Evan Few and the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra. Just a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of performing with Apollo's Fire - Jeannette Sorrell's very own baroque ensemble based in Cleveland.
It was such an incredible feeling to be working together again, and with so many great friends and colleagues. Four of us violinists were in the same studio together at Oberlin.... Talk about a small world. And none of us even live in Cleveland. However, this ensemble is full of superstars and we fly in from all over the world to make magic, and music :) The concerts and tour this last month was for the St. John Passion. One of the most incredible works that J.S. Bach ever wrote. It was totally incredible to perform it seven times, record an album with the group, and make a bunch of really beautiful looking videos. We performing it a few times in Cleveland, brought it to Michigan, and then also to New York City and had a live broadcast at St. Paul's Chapel, part of Trinity Wall Street, in New York. What an experience!!!
I was playing second violin, in a section of three, with Adriane Post and Andrew Fouts - two really great friends of mine. I have known them both for at least a decade, and performing with them every day for over two weeks in this ensemble was absolutely incredible. I have also performing chamber music with both Adriane and Andrew many many times over the last ten years and so I often felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened. There is absolutely nothing like working with the best of friends. The first violin section was full of four rockstars as well. Olivier, Johanna, Evan, and Emi, Emi being the only one I had never worked with before. Of course by the second week I found out she was in an all girls rock and roll string quartet that performed Michael Jackson covers... of course...
Well, the whole experience was incredible, and I absolutely have to take a moment to talk about the soloists and the choir. Many of them are great friends of mine from other ensembles and concerts and festivals, but meeting a few for the first time was a true highlight. Amanda Forsythe singing soprano was just so beautiful. Every time, the arias would give you sometime new to think about and enjoy. And then Nick Phan - he just completely blew my mind. As the evangelist he was our storyteller, every single day, in GERMAN no less, and it was just some of the most amazing singing I have ever heard, day after day, night after night, what an honour to work with you Nick! And last but not least, a final nod to Jeannette, who I've known since 2002, my first year at Oberlin. Thank you for caring so much, thank you for being an awesome musician, and thank you for inviting me to be part of your incredible band!!!!
till next time,