I arrived in NYC yesterday after one of those ghastly get-up-at-3:45-to-drive-to-the-airport mornings, and the first thing that happened is...nothing. I successfully navigated transit to arrive at the NYU address given on the conference website, was sent to a different campus building to register, and learned that the accommodation I'd booked was another 6 or 8 blocks beyond that - so my memory of the pre-lunch period of my day is one of being hot and tired and dragging my roller suitcase, oboe, and tote-bag for MILES.
But things got so very much better. Monday was technically pre-conference, so I was in town exclusively for rehearsals. I found myself a delicious and healthy lunch, enjoyed people-watching in Washington Square Park, and reported for my rehearsal (not, unfortunately, in my recital venue, and not even in the venue I'd been told a few weeks earlier.)
I've written before about my poor success rate with first rehearsals with new pianists, and I was definitely a little anxious going in. My program is hard. I didn't know what the room would be like, and I knew going in that I had EXACTLY an hour to work through everything in my hour long recital, so there wasn't a lot of slush time to stress about reeds.
And I don't know how my performance will go today. But the rehearsal yesterday was simply delightful. Jon Klibonoff, my assigned pianist, was absolutely top-notch, and friendly and low-key to boot. I loved working with him, and am looking forward to today. (At 11am, in ED Bldg 303! Hope to see some of you there!)
I also had rehearsal last night for a Large Double Reed Ensemble program. I usually steer away from anything that smacks of Oboe Band - not interested in chop-busting, punishing arrangements that never sound well in tune - but in this case composer Daniel Baldwin had assembled a collection of world premieres by great people - Eric Ewazen! Bill Douglas! - and a group of legitimate professional oboists and bassoonists to play, and it turned out to be enormously fun. The rehearsal began at 10pm, and started late even at that, and since I had been up since 3:45 I was planning to duck out quite early. But the pieces kept getting better and better, and the group kept sounding better and better, and I stayed until 11:20 when the rehearsal broke up. Hiked back to the dorm and fell asleep.
I have high hopes for the fun factor of this performance, which will be Wednesday afternoon at 2.
Final news: I have my Mendelssohn arrangement complete and available for purchase on my website, HERE. That project took a long time, but was well worth the effort. I'm performing off my own bound copy today, and it's SO MUCH EASIER when the notes I see reflect exactly the notes I intend to play. Less mental strain. More fun. Don't know why I didn't do this before.
I'll try to keep everyone posted about the greatness I see today and tomorrow. Wish I could stay in NY all week, but I'll fill my two days here like crazy!