The season had an early start playing at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony. It was fantastic to get to play with Toby Oft, Steve Lange, Jim Markey & Mike Roylance. The first program included Mahler's 1st Symphony, Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini & a piece by the concerts conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
I also played on an evening of film music conducted by John Williams. Having grown up watching so many many movies over the years that were scored by John's music this was a real treat for me. Star Wars conducted by John Williams - it doesn't get much better than that, and I admit to having a lump on my throat during Han & Leia's Theme.
THE KNIGHTS & WILLIAM KENTRIDGE
I'm excited for this project at the New York Park Armory with the Knights Chamber Orchestra. A play on the Ghanaian proverb, “the head and the load are the troubles of the neck,” the large-scale work expressively speaks to the nearly two million African porters and carriers used by the British, French, and Germans who bore the brunt of the casualties during the First World War in Africa and the historical significance of this story as yet left largely untold. This processional musical journey—as much an installation as a performance piece—melds performances by orchestra collective The Knights, and an international ensemble cast of singers, dancers, and performers accompanied by a chorus of mechanized gramophones alongside multiple film projections and shadow play to create a landscape of immense proportion and imagination that utilizes the vast sweep of the Wade Thompson Drill to upend standard notions of scale.
Read about the London production at at the Tate Modern here.
DECODA @ CARNEGIE HALL
My chamber group Decoda is the first affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall and we make our residency debut this year at Carnegie Hall. The program starts with the dark trapeze world of Prokofiev’s Quintet, to Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Tale, which reimagines Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale for the modern age - infused with jazzy and funky elements. Then a quick dip into the pomp and circumstance of Britten’s Oboe Quartet, before arriving at the final stop in the world of Victorian England, with David Bruce’s Steampunk.
CONCERTO & CD RELEASE AT THE AMERICAN BANDMASTERS ASSOCIATION
I'm honored to be performing the Eric Richards Trombone Quartet Concerto at the American Bandmaster's Association Conference in March 2019. I will be joined by my friends and colleagues Barry Hearn from the Dallas Symphony, Dr. Steve Wilson from the University of Texas El Paso & Dr. Pete Madsen from the University of Nebraska. The University of Texas El Paso Wind Symphony conducted by Dr. Bradley Genevro will be playing with us as we tour through Texas, New Mexico & Colorado to celebrate the CD release (recorded earlier this year) of this fantastic concerto.
I'm excited to record some of the solo repertoire that I have been performing over my career in addition to some new pieces. Getting into shape and developing routines for a recording is very different in comparison to having a orchestral job or even preparing for a recital. This is my first professional solo recording and it's been a very interesting journey learning how to prepare.
Some of the pieces I'm going to record include "Keren" by Xenakis, Charlie Vernon's arrangement of the "Romeo & Juliet" suite by Prokofiev and Arban's "Carnival of Venice" Air & Variations.
MUSIC & SOCIAL JUSTICE PROJECTS 18/19
I am pleased to say that this season I will be the Co-ordinator for Decoda's programs at New York City's Administration for Children's Services. The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) protects and promotes safety and well-being of New York City’s children and families by providing child welfare, juvenile justice, and early care and education services. Decoda's music programs in the last 12 months have had a positive impact on the ACS community are we are proud to continue presenting workshops for the children and staff. I will also be continuing my work as a board member of Musicambia bringing music to incarcerated communities in New York and beyond.