Monday, June 23, 2008

Things I learned this past week

1. Cellist David Finckel, of the Emerson String Quartet, travels so much with his cello that it has its own series of frequent flier cards, under the name Cello Finckel.

2. David Finckel's wife, the pianist Wu Han, is actually not as intimidating as she seems in all her press photos. When I picked them up at the airport, she was absolutely nice and charming and even gave me a hug when I left.

3. The pianist Richard Goode is mostly a vegetarian. He and his wife Marcia met while performing the Franck Piano Quintet together, although Richard's not a fan of the first movement (he finds it a bit gushingly excessive). Also, although his contract says that he's supposed to have apple juice in his dressing room, he actually prefers orange juice.

Richard at his piano selection (they usually have 2-3 instruments to choose from)

With Richard and wife Marcia backstage after the concert

4. Violinist Ed Dusinberre of the Takacs Quartet is an avid soccer fan. The other day, he showed up at rehearsal and immediately mumbled that he was 10 minutes into an amazing soccer game (Russia v. Netherlands). "Oh, the sacrifices we make for art."

5. Jeffrey Kahane is actually really short. Actually, so is David Zinman. Hrm.

My days lately have consisted mostly of going to rehearsals and performances, which has been worlds better than sitting in front of a computer screen all day. For those of you who want to follow along, we're actually streaming the first ten days of the festival online at Medici TV. It's pretty cool, but it's also been a bit nerve-wracking these past few days, setting up interviews and wrangling backstage controls and such.

One last photo: me and composer and Harvard alum and former BachSoc conductor John Harbison! The Aspen Festival Orchestra just premiered his piece Suite from the Great Gatsby, after Harbison's opera, last night.