Inspired Retreat Makes for an Unforgettable Experience

Read the article on Cleveland Institute of Music’s Notes quarterly newsletter here.

Inspired Retreat Makes for an Unforgettable Experience

Undergraduate cellist Kyle Price spent his summer cultivating the ultimate artist retreat, the Caroga Lake Music Festival, a festival he launched last year. Utilizing a serene location to inspire artistry and collaboration, Price’s festival sold out to audiences in this Upstate New York venue. In the process, he met Yo-Yo Ma and played an impromptu pre-show performance for the Philadelphia Orchestra. “The mixture of the mountains, lake and playing great chamber music with friends for eager audiences was truly an unforgettable experience,” he explained. The festival ensemble also traveled to perform in Sleepy Hollow (NY) at the Old Dutch Church, made famous by Washington Irvin’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Outreach events included the Gloversville Senior Center, and their own version of “Classical Revolution” at the Nick Stoner Inn 19th Hole Bar in the town of Caroga. “We also got to meet Yo-Yo Ma, and play an impromptu performance of Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky for Keith Lockhart at the pre-show for the Philadelphia Orchestra concert,” Price said. “The local community embraced our performances. We had more than 180 people attend our final concert in the quaint Caroga Chapel, including Philadelphia Orchestra members,” Price continued. “Overall, the experience was surreal. Witnessing the community become so giddy about classical music, treating us like superstars, was very flattering.” Showcasing artists from across the country and Europe, festival participants also included CIM students and alumni violinists Alice Hong and Suliman Tekalli, violist Stephanie Price and cellists Ryan Louie and Julian Muller.

Chamber Music at Caroga Chapel

Read the article on Kathryn’s Korner here.

Chamber Music at Caroga Chapel

I’ve told you guys over the years how much I loved classical music, specifically baroque chamber music, which is my favorite kind of music.

Well, August 17th, just around the corner on Chapel Drive, from where we live on East Shore Road in Caroga Lake, The Caroga Lake Chamber Music Festival with founder Kyle Price was presented.

Price with seven of his musical friends presented chamber music from the likes of Dvorak, Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn along with the lesser known compositions of Arensky, Zemlinsky and Shostakovich. And the performers, although all young, had plenty of credentials. Some have appeared on NPR Radio’s “From the Top” and violinist Eva Kennedy performed with one of my personal favorite singers, Michael Feinstein. The high quality of their musicianship was obvious in the performance.

In looking through the bios of the musicians who played cellos, violins and violas, I saw several had connections with the Cleveland Institute of Music, which in and of itself is quite prestigious.

Besides being from Cleveland, I studied voice there at CIM with instructor George Vassos for a year before going to Indiana University School of Music on an opera scholarship.

Now, I confess that while I used the scholarship to help finance my schooling, I don’t really like opera music (read “can’t stand it” actually) and so I wound up studying jazz and scat singing under the great Eileen Farrell. I also studied theater and dance, so I was a “triple threat” in training as a future entertainment performer.

I also wound up assisting the tap instructor, Michael Sokoloff, who ran the “dance and movement” department in the school at IU.

I remember the singers at the Cleveland Institute of Music were treated like divas and tended to be opera students where I didn’t really fit in.

But back to the chamber music at Caroga Chapel.

With the setting in the woods by the lake, it was just an enchanting evening and not to be missed.

I certainly hope this is just the first installment of many future chamber music festivals for our little corner of paradise here in Caroga Lake.

Bowing at Bowdoin, and elsewhere

Read the blog on Harvard Arts Blog.

Keir GoGwilt ’13, a resident of Adams House concentrating in Literature, was awarded an Artist Development Fellowship to attend the Bowdoin International Music Festival. GoGwilt also plans to study abroad with professors at the Köln Hochschule and the Guildhall School of Music. Additionally, he will be working with American composer Tobias Picker on a recording. A member of the Brattle Street Chamber Players, he has performed with the Bach Society Orchestra. AtBowdoin he served as a Performing Associate Fellow and also performed with the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra. He hope to purses a career as a concert violinist and be involved in the academic study of performance.

I spent the first few weeks of my summer studying with two violin teachers in Europe: David Takeno in London and Ute Hasenauer in Cologne. It was great to study with the two of them in a short period of time—they offer such unique perspectives on music making. David Takeno teaches from a house inWimbledon called “The Artesian Well.”It’s a large cylindrical building, and he teaches on the top floor, which is a huge dome with a skylight and bookshelves all around the walls. As he teaches he pulls out books and scores from the shelves, constructing a virtual web of similar or related themes and ideas. In the few lessons we had, we covered as much repertoire as possible.

Ute Hasenauer’s style of teaching is completely the opposite. We would spend two hours together on three or four passages of one piece. She and her husband have spent years compiling interviews, meeting with doctors and sports scientists, and studying videos of the great 20th century violinists, finding the common factors between all of them. She has formulated a science of violin technique that is incredibly precise and detailed. I learned so much from her in the three weeks I spent in Cologne.

I flew directly from Europe to the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where I performed theBeethoven Violin Concerto with the festival orchestra. By the time rehearsals started, I was still pretty jet-lagged and sleep deprived. However, the concert went really well, and the orchestra and conductor were really great to work with. For the first movement I played a cadenza by Alfred Schnittke, and for the last movement I played two cadenzas by Matthew Aucoin ’12. I also played “Invisible Lilacs” by Tobias Picker on a contemporary music series the next week.

All in all it’s been a great summer. I’ve learned so much, and I’m feeling really prepared for the upcoming year!Currently I’m at Caroga Lake, playing chamber music in a festival that my friend started this year. I thought I might get a bit of a vacation here, but we’ve been working pretty hard—we’ve had to learn a full recital program in about three days. Yesterday we played a pre-show for Yo-Yo Ma and the Philadelphia Orchestra out on the lawn at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and we have concerts tonight and tomorrow night.