So Excited!

I got a call yesterday afternoon from the coordinator of the song festival I'm attending in June. They want me to premiere a piece by John Harbison! They really want me to do it. I'm so honored and thrilled and humbled to be asked. Apparently, it's quite difficult, and the singer is from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, so we'll only have about a day to rehearse, but I'm totally up for this challenge.

Some good things have been happening for me lately, music-wise. It's odd, because I figured once I had a kid, I would lose time and enthusiasm for things piano-related. Yet, the opposite seems to be the case. Having Daniel meant I commit to far, far fewer playing gigs, which allows me to focus. I imagine that has a lot to do with successful performances I've been able to give lately.

You've got to understand that while I've always worked hard, I haven't had exciting opportunities until recently. When I started the collaborative program, I was very much in the shadow of another pianist with far more experience than I, and he was constantly asked to play on faculty recitals and with visiting guest artists. He's a dear friend and I harbor absolutely no grudge against him; for one thing, he's a good 15 years older than I am and really, truly deserves all those opportunities. But while he was here, playing for everyone under the sun and being lavished with praise left and right, I was getting calls from high school students needing accompanists for concerto competitions (if I have to play the Mendelssohn violin concerto one more time I might scream) and beginning voice students (if I have to play "Caro Mio Ben" for one more freshman who can't count a dotted quarter note, I absolutely WILL scream). On one particularly memorable occasion, I received a message on my answering machine from someone who directs a group called the Very Special Choir, a group of mentally disabled adults who needed an accompanist. (As I recall, I wasn't available.)

It's not like I think I'm above playing for high school students or choirs made up of disabled adults. I'm absolutely not above that. I'm just glad that some more exciting opportunities are coming my way.


Thorny said…
Whoo! I may not under stand all the ins and outs of it, but I understand things like "more challenging opportunities" and "invited to do exciting stuff", so good for you! That's awesome!
Mrs. Ann said…
I'm happy for you! I would call that God allowing you to go through a period of humbling before those wonderful opportunities, to help you appreciate those opportunities. I think you deserve all these blessings!
Congratulations! That's awesome!
andre said…
This is brilliant, Suze. Congratulations!! This is so sweet to be able to premiere his work. If the premiere is open to the public and well-publicized I definitely will make the drive up from L.A. to hear it! It's not every day one gets a chance to hear a Harbison world premiere!

All best with the preparations! I'm thinking about Jewel playing Madison Square Garden for the first time, and how nervous she was, and the words of advice she got from Neil Young: "this is just another hash house on the side of the road! Show 'em no respect!!" I love that, as if to say: "If you get too nervous, know that these folks ain't no more or less human than you. Just give ‘em what you got!” This is cool for me to read, as it again reminds me what a wonderfully slippery slope it is into the big waters.

I'm so pleased that things are coming together so well for you. . It is a natural progression from all your focused work.

Congratulations and continued encouragement!
pamigelsrud said…
Way to go, Suze!!! That is SO awesome!!

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