On the Road

I have spent a very fruitful 2 weeks on the road.

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival 2011

It began with a trip to Santa Fe where I reunited with L.P. How (Mim 2009 & 2010).  Having played beside L.P. for many years now (during Mim, for Santa Fe kids, and at the Sarasota Opera where he is concertmaster), there is a unique sense of familiarity.  L.P.’s gorgeous sound and dedication to keep each performance fresh creates inspires me.

As part of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, we spent the week performing for area school kids, including the children on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation.  In 5 short days, we performed 20 shows, reaching hundreds of children!  We had the pleasure of performing string quintets – movements from Dvorak, Tchaikovsky Serenade, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – with Mark Tatum (bass), Ashima Scripp (cello), and Christof Huebner (viola).

Reunion on the Upper West Side

From Santa Fe, I traveled to NYC where I spent a few days reconnecting with many friends from my college years.  Justin Maclean, Kinga Augustyn, Lilit Kurdiyan, Konstantin Soukhovetski (Mim 2009 and will also join us again next season!), and Jennifer Choi… swapping stories and learning from their experiences is energizing!  My host, the delightful Jeehae Lee, violinist at the Metropolitan Opera, is a cherished friend.  I will never forget performing the Debussy Quartet on my graduation recital with her (our quartet made up 3.5 Korean girls, 3.5 since I am only half Korean J)… she may join us next May to perform.  If not next May, I hope in the future our audiences will meet her and hear her music!

From NYC my last stop was Philadelphia – having dinner with Mr. Arben continued to inspire ideas for Mim next season.

David Arben

Arben shared photographs, newspaper articles and video.

Strolling to Lunch

He has one surviving photograph of his family members who perished.  It sits framed on a dresser, next to the doorway to his bedroom, surrounded by antique pieces and artwork.  His mother and baby sister are not in the picture but his father, older brother, male cousin and a four year old David Arben are captured at a park in Warsaw.  After the war, he wrote his Aunt who escaped Poland with her Argentinean husband – she sent him this picture.

Amy Yang sketches Mr. Arben

Later we were joined by pianist Amy Yang, who had a window of time between lessons, accompanying Curtis students.  She brought her bag with sketch pad, bringing David to life on paper while we continued conversations over sandwiches at Pastrami and Things.

Now safely tucked away in my San Francisco apartment, my mind swirls with ideas and visions of a most exciting Music in May- how thankful I am to a team of so many generous souls, united for this project.  I look forward to more inspirations as I travel with my family to Israel next week…

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