Friday, November 29, 2019

That was some year

The Thanksgiving holiday seems an appropriate time to be thankful for the year that was, and since Christmas and New Year's will give me plenty to write about I'm going to do the traditional year in review now. I'm too tired to think ahead at the moment anyway!

2019 distinguished itself by the number of unique concert programs I gave--16 by my count, which does not include appearances when I played the same music (I'm guessing total stage appearances to be around two dozen) and by the number of new organs I visited. After teaching a series of lecture recitals about Beethoven in the spring, I was off to Ohio in June for some piano recitals.

If you've been on pianonoise this month you've noticed it atop the home page. It is a church near Cincinnati where I played a concert which consisted mostly of the music of Marteau.

A week later I got to play my first summer series recital near Pittsburgh. This town is rife with large organs and fine organists. Westminster Presbyterian Church is not as picturesque as some of the others, but they have a fine Austin.

There was a collection of gargoyles watching me as I arrived. I would swear there were only two of them before I looked away to open my camera!

Two week later came a concert at St. Paul Cathedral on one of the finest instruments in the country, the last instrument built by Rudolph von Bekerath.

In August I played the piano at an event in Pittsburgh which was most notable for the apparent motorcycle convention that seemed to be in town. Next time I will choose repertoire that is all loud all the time if I am playing outdoors.

In September I got to appear at Heinz Chapel for the third time, this time with my colleague Devin Arrington on the violin.

I was also asked to play a concert at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh as part of that series.

All of this took place while I was preparing a five week lecture recital course for the fall semester of Osher/UPitt, which met on five consecutive weeks in October and November. or as I started to call it, a "one person concert series."

That's a bit more work than I recommend, by the way. By the time I found out all of these concerts were happening it was too late to back out of them, but I'm going to back off a little next year. Besides, I've already been invited to play all of the organ concerts in town so I probably won't have anyplace to play next year--at least locally.

As soon as the fifth class was over I hopped in the car and drove out to Illinois for the festival concert I mentioned last week. 

I also got to play some solo pieces on that concert, most with the help of the excellent little Dobson organ. 

Today I feel justifiably tired, and am looking forward to a relatively un-busy Christmas season with just one concert. In a couple of weeks I'll be joining the choir and ensembles at First Methodist here in town for their annual Candlelight Worship concert. 

That was the year that was (or will be). It has been quite a year. Now bring on Christmas!

After a nap.

you know the drill:  This may be your last chance to hide out from the Christmas season. Only until next Friday!

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