After two weeks spent in Puerto Rico, The International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico (ICOPR) completed 8 concerts, several master classes, and reached out to many students, young children, and adults with disabilities.
The local community we visited appeared fascinated because they had never seen classical music instruments before. At rehearsal breaks the children would be paraded around the orchestra to look at our instruments. It was funny and it was almost as if we were, “animals in a zoo”. They were delighted and in many cases the students came up and touched the instruments. It was sweet!
We also had a chance to see the developments after Hurricane Maria. The people were so kind and warm. We heard stories of people without phone and electricity for seven months! Some people had to sleep in their cars at night. The only thing they had was a car and gas. No phone and no computer for that long! (Maybe that would be good?) The gift of music to the Puerto Rico community was really appreciated.
Throughout the weeks the principal players of the orchestra were giving master classes to the young aspiring musicians of Puerto Rico at each city we performed in.
On the odd off day, we visited beaches throughout the territory of Puerto Rico. There was a gorgeous surfing resort town called Rincón where we saw some super interesting waves. Some of us rented paddle boards, enjoyed the beach, and enjoyed the local dives. The visit inspired me to think I may want to move here for part of the year.
Repertoire Brahms: Rhapsody in G Minor for piano solo, Op. 79 No. 2 (1879) Chiel Meijering: Follow the whisper, Part 4. twists and turns for bassoon and piano (2018, premiere) Chiel Meijering: Humble Mumble (2012/18)* Chiel Meijering: Winds of Change (1987/18)* Prokofiev: Sonata No. 3 in A Minor for piano solo, Op. 28 (1907/17) Chiel Meijering: Fading Memories (2015/18)* Chiel Meijering: When the Soul Dies (2015/18)* Gershwin: Three Preludes for piano solo (1926)*
*Premiere of revised version for bassoon and piano
Listen to recordings from this performance:
Chiel Meijering: Follow the whisper, Part 4. twists and turns for bassoon and piano (2018, premiere)
While in Toronto last week, Joseph and I rehearsed together for the first time for an upcoming premiere concert in Auer Hall on March 31 for a piece written by Chiel Meijering scored for bassoon, clarinet, accordion and string orchestra titled “Tribulations of Modern Love” James Campbell, clarinet IU faculty member will join us as well as strings from the Jacobs School of Music with David Jang, conducting. Composer, Chiel Meijering will attend the premiere.
It was great and rather exciting to be back in Toronto to play acting principal bassoon. I played one performance of Rigoletto with no rehearsal and it was a blast from the past as I was a member of the Canadian Opera Company from 1989-93. It is nice to work with old friends and hear the orchestra as I sat in the middle of the pit. It is always a nostalgic feeling to return to orchestra life for a brief moment in time.
On stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., Toronto.
When Rigoletto’s only joy, his daughter Gilda, is seduced by his amoral employer, anger and passion drive him to murder. But Gilda, blinded by a powerful and innocent love, places herself in the path of her father’s revenge, with heartrending consequences.
Praetorius/Dean: Selections from “Dance Suite No. 2
from ‘Terpsichore’” (arranged for brass quintet) Crespo: Suite americana No. 1 for brass quintet (1977)
Schubert: Octet in F Major for winds and strings, D.803 Brass Quintet
John Rommel, trumpet
Joey Tartell, trumpet
Jeff Nelsen, horn
Carl Lenthe, trombone
Daniel Perantoni, tuba
Wind & String Octet
Eli Eban, clarinet
Kathleen McLean, bassoon
Jeffrey Nelsen, horn
Grigory Kalinovsky, violin
Mia Laity, violin
Atar Arad, viola
Peter Stumpf, cello
Kurt Murocki, double bass