Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A day in the life.

7:30 AM - Alarm goes off. Snooooooooze.

8:10 AM - Panic and drag myself out of bed. I've got a 9:30AM airport pickup, and I need to drive over to the house to make sure I know where I'm taking the guest artist.

8:25 AM - Scramble downstairs, throw bread into the toaster, slather it in peanut butter, and scramble into my car.

(Speaking of my never-ending car saga, I now have a new one! Well, sort of. The festival owns a ginormous bright red 1995 Chevy Suburban that they had put at the airport for a guest artist to drive around in the winter, but when the guest artist arrived, it was no longer there. Whoops. Unfortunately for me, though, it turned up a few weeks ago, and I had to return my shiny new Trailblazer for this 35-gallon-tank guzzler.)

8:40 AM - After making a few wrong turns, I arrive at 184 Mountain Valley Dr. I make sure the key is under the mat and open the door. Holy moly the place is ginormous and gorgeous. Oh my goodness.

9:00 AM - Make it through the morning traffic to the airport. I run into Jessica, another of my fellow artist liaisons, who's picking up Misha Dichter. However, we can't seem to find his flight on the monitor. We check with a United attendant and find out he's on a later flight - the same one that James Conlon, whom I'm picking up, is on.

9:32 AM - United flight 7181 arrives from Denver. Jessica and I stand by the gate holding our signs. I feel like a hotel chauffeur...which I guess I am. Sort of.

9:50 AM - We pick up James Conlon's rental car, but his luggage hasn't made it here yet. Oh, Aspen. Julia Fischer had the same problem when she arrived last week, and so did Anders Hillborg, and a long line of others...but oh well - it's scheduled to arrive on the next flight, which thankfully is less than an hour away. We depart and I lead him to his house.

10:14 AM - I show James into his mansion that the festival's rented for his stay here. We take a walk around and oooh and ahh at everything. The house is actually two houses in one, and every detail - from the marble countertops to the giant vaulted ceilings in the master bedrooms (yes, rooms plural) - is gorgeous. I told him that if he ever wants a break from the house during his three-week stay, I'd be happy to take over. He tells me that if I were to live in this house, he probably wouldn't even notice.

10:34 AM - I depart from the James Conlon mansion and make my way over to where David Robertson and Orli Shaham were staying. David and Orli showed up last week with their entourage of eight: the husband-wife team, their nine-month-old twins, David's two teenage sons, a nanny, and a cute little Chihuahua named Milo. Orli called last night and they apparently had a lot of leftover diapers and baby toys and wanted to donate them to the common good (i.e. other festival "brats," as we affectionately call the children and grandchildren of the guest artists), so I was going to load up the 'burban with all their excesses and tote them back to campus.

10:36 AM - Jessica calls. Apparently Misha Dichter needs a ride from his practice room in Aspen Middle School to his hotel at 11:30, and Jessica's picking up Joyce Yang from the airport at that time. I add it to my schedule.

10:37 AM - I realize that while talking to Jessica on the phone, I miss the turn to get to the Robertson/Shaham residence.

10:52 AM - All diapered and ready to head back to campus.

11:11 AM - I finally arrive in the office to unload the toys and the diapers. I flag down potential carters.

11:31 AM - I pick up Misha Dichter from the middle school, who claims that he'll collapse if he practices any more. Poor guy had a concert last night, followed by a post-concert dinner, and then a 6AM flight out of Chicago. And he still needs to get used to the altitude. I take him to Hotel Jerome, and on the way he tells me about how Aspen's changed in the past 30 years (apparently it wasn't always this schmancy), and gives me a few restaurant recommendations.

11:55 AM - I hustle over to Paepcke Auditorium for the High Notes lecture that James Conlon is delivering with Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School. We've all got Alan's title memorized like clockwork because he often makes short speeches at the beginning of each concert, always starting with the words "Hi, I'm Alan Fletcher, President and CEO..." High Notes lectures are a way for the audience to get more acquainted with the music that we present, but on a much more general scale rather than specific to each program. For instance, today's lecture was about the role of myth and legend in music, and to get to that, they first discussed music and the orchestra as a cultural vehicle, and moved to composition and circumstance. It was really interesting to hear the two of them talk, although...

12:22 PM - I get a call from Shelby, the Music Production Manager, that Emanuel Ax was not yet there for his 12:15 conductor-soloist meeting with David Zinman. Even more strange was that the meeting was not in his itinerary, although I distinctly remember putting it in there. I get a momentary feeling of dread as I realize that I had forgotten to sync the pdf with the updated word document. Sh**t.

12:43 PM - I work things out with Manny Ax and he gets to his meeting, albeit a tad late. Whoops. We all decide to avoid both him and David Zinman for the rest of the day...or at least for a few hours.

12:56 PM - I drive back "home" to make myself a super-omelette for lunch: broccoli, mushrooms, turkey, zucchini, and hot sauce, with toast. Yum.

1:30 PM - Time to mosey back to the office, where the rest of the day will be filled with joyful itinerary-making, interview-scheduling, and procrastination. Oh, and all sorts of logistics for Open Door, which is a recital series that I'm coordinating. The first one is tomorrow, and I need to finalize the program, notify the performers, make the program (and get it proofed), and also work out all the logistics for the other recitals on Friday and Saturday evening. Oh boy.


6:10 PM - Time to go home! Jessica and I are the last ones in the office, and we set the alarm as we walk out. I wanted to go to the Aspen Concert Orchestra performance, which started at 6, but, well, it's a little late now. Instead, I go home and make myself a scrumptious dinner.

7:18 PM - Fooooood: basil shrimp pasta with assorted veggies. Yum! I switch on Law and Order and chow down.

8:21 PM - I finish doing the dishes, hop on my bike, and head over to Harris Concert Hall for the Cavani String Quartet performance at 8:30. They're a dynamic group, and were students at the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies here in Aspen in 1984. We hear three pieces: Dvorak American, Bartok 2, and the Schumann Piano Quintet with pianist Ann Schein. I didn't really enjoy their Dvorak - I thought they took a few too many liberties with the sporadic tempo changes - but the other pieces were excellent!

10:30 PM - I bike home in the pitch black darkness. Oy. No streetlamps = kind of scary.

10:45 PM - I get home, hop in the shower, surf around on the internet, and then decide to write my blog entry as my eyes try to force themselves shut. I'm so ridiculously tired; my pictures are going to have to wait until tomorrow.

12:30 PM - Bedtime! Things to look forward to tomorrow: Cho-Liang Lin's violin masterclass, first Open Door Recital, calling the grocery store to see if they can make a fruit and cheese platter for Sarah Chang, and making the weekly fruit basket delivery chart. Yay.