So with a big concert looming large, why am I blogging on Kitchen Fiddler the night before, about to share a fabulous chicken&rice recipe with you? As you may recall, I wrote a post on this blog two months ago about how I’ve often thrown myself into elaborate baking projects as a pre-concert distraction technique. I guess some things never change! Since it’s not possible or even necessary for me to have my violin in my hands all day long, I have definitely been cooking as a way of relaxing this week, and this has actually has helped me mentally focus for tomorrow’s big concert.
It’s been an amazing couple of days in preparation for this performance. I have a long history of making music with my cellist/conductor dad, and it is really exciting to play new repertoire together. In addition to the Beethoven, we’re also doing the Schumann Piano Quartet on the first half, and I’m so happy to be working once again with Sam Formicola, our wonderful violist. It is thrilling beyond words to play with Mr. Pressler, who is seriously putting us all through our paces. Our long rehearsals have been very intense, and I feel that both my mind and my musical understanding are being stretched in a very concentrated and deep way. My brain hurts at the end of each rehearsal, for I’m trying to absorb absolutely everything and pay attention to every last detail. I am being challenged to play as beautifully as I have ever been capable of playing, and I am unspeakably grateful for an opportunity like this.
We’re working hard. Beethoven demands nothing less, as does Schumann. And when we’re ready for a break, everyone comes to our house to eat. My parents and I would rather invite people to dine at our house instead of going to any of the unmemorable local restaurants, and my mom is an especially gracious and welcoming hostess. She and I make a great team in the kitchen, something we've done for many years together. I’m more of the idea girl while Mom is the queen of beautiful presentation, and we both throw ourselves whole-heartedly into the execution of our vision. Between the two of us, we can really lay out a beautiful table of food, one that is often enhanced by the stunning roses that grow in the front yard.