Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Francisco, La Jolla, and England! Now...USA with Keith Lockhart and BBC Concert Orchestra!

Just returned from a great rehearsal in Watford, England

Big Ben
These past few weeks have been quite busy! In February, I was back in Washington State a couple of times: once for a benefit concert for the Charlie Albright Piano and Charlie Albright Scholarship at the Centralia College, and one for the Your Harvard: Seattle event at the Seattle Art Museum.  I then popped down to Florida for a SILL event in sunny Sarasota and Venice.

On the 15th, I flew on over to San Francisco, where the weather was oh-so mild and a lot less "freezing" than New York, and gave a concert at the SFJAZZ Center as part of the San Francisco Performances Concert Series.  It was a lot of fun in a modern, new hall.  From there, I flew down to San Diego, where I had three days of residencies/outreaches with students of all ages.

People often ask what I mean by "residencies" and "outreaches," so please let me explain.  More and more, concert organizers want performers to be "citizen artists," or in other words, artists who are also members of the community.  The days of people popping onto a stage, not saying a word, playing, and leaving, are fading quickly.  So, many organizers now request that people meet with students, teach masterclasses (lessons in front of an audience, often for high school or college students), talk about being a musician, etc.  So, I spent three days meeting with people from age 5 to 25, talking about music, teaching a masterclass, playing a little bit, and giving a seminar class on improvisation.  It's really fulfilling to work directly with students like that.  I remember once, a young boy (~6 or 7 years old) came up to me and said "I want to be a pianist now, because of you."

I'm not trying to convert people to become musicians, mind you...but just exposing kids to music is critical for the future of art.

Anyway, the concert was at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla.  As in San Francisco, I performed the Chopin Variations, Op. 2 on La Ci Darem la Mano, an improvisation, the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, and the Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.

I then went to New York for just two nights, and then flew straight to England!  Upon arrival, I headed to Watford, home of the Watford Colosseum, where they recorded the music to The Sound of Music, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars!  The rehearsal was great, and it was wonderful working with Keith Lockhart again.  It's hard to believe that it has already been 3.5 years since we last worked together!

I had one day off in England before heading back, so I spent it in the city of London, doing some touristy things before getting too tired and shlumping back to the hotel for some rest. :)

Now, I'm preparing to leave for a 3.5 week tour with the BBC Concert Orchestra, touring the United States (mainly the east coast) through the month of April!  I hope I can see some of you there along the way!

CD Signing

CD Signing

CD Signing

SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco

San Francisco Performances

Awesome "Artist's Terrace" at the SFJAZZ Center

With my San Francisco Performances Sponsors and Presenter 
Charlie Albright

Upgrade to First Class?  Yes, thank you.

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Snacks on a plane

With San Francisco Performances Presenter Ruth Felt

Masterclass at SDSU (San Diego State University)

Prepping for Improvisation Seminar Class at Point Loma Nazarene University

The Scripps Research Institute 
The Scripps Research Institute

Watford, England

Watford, England

Watford, England



Watford Colosseum

Watford Colosseum

Watford Colosseum

Watford Colosseum

Room service!

The London Eye

Couldn't get to the Ministry of Magic :(

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