2011 was a great year in music for me. I’m so thankful for all the amazing opportunities I get to meet and hang out with some of the most talented people working today. I’m also continually thankful that I get to spend my all time contemplating, listening to, talking about and fully absorbing music in every shape, form and style. I never take that for granted – not even for a second. So, here’s to another year of carpe diem via music!
So, in the spirit of taking stock of what has come and gone (and setting new goals to increase the awesomeness ratio) I present a little list of top notch moments from last year (in no particular order and mostly music…with a couple of bonus items).
♥ Mouse on Mars at MusicNOW: Mediocre performance overall, but it was great to finally see them in person – and trying something new, too.
♥ Mathieu Dufour (principle flute) and Eugene Izotov (principle oboe) of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Getting a chance to see these two play – to witness the conversations they have with each other entirely via body language as they perform – is one of the great simple pleasures of life.
♥ Pianists: Mitsuko Uchida, Leif Ove Andsnes (twice!), Keith Kirchoff (incidentally an aquaintence of mine whilst I was a student at NEC) and Jeremy Denk were all standouts.
♥ Laurie Anderson: I had the supreme honor of getting to meet and interview Ms. Anderson in 2010 and the icing on the cake was getting to see her perform “Delusion” live. What a creative force.
♥ Eric Whitacre + Hila Plitmann: Interviewing this husband and wife duo was definitely one of the most fun hours I spent in 2011. They are passionate, warm, talented and ridiculously nice.
♥ YoYo Ma: Look, I’m just saying that getting to sit in on a rehearsal with him is crazy cool – and when he looks straight at you and talks with you about a piece of music all you can think is: “I’m talking with Yo Yo Ma and he’s the nicest guy ever!”
♥ Mark Morris + his Dance Group: If I were not a musician/writer, I would want to be a dancer (and astronomer/theoretical physicist) with the Mark Morris Dance Group. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them in New York with the New York City Opera (in Purcell’s King Arthur) but this was my first time seeing them in a live solo performance. Such a pleasure to see Mr. Morris’ creativity and wit – and even more of a pleasure to sit across the aisle (and make eye contact!) with the man himself. *pinch*
♥ Chicago Opera Theater/Tod Machover: During my years in Boston I certainly knew of Mr. Machover but getting to see his groundbreaking opera Death and the Powers – complete with all manner of high tech gadgets from MIT – was jaw-droppingly awesome (to say the least). Props also to the person who decided to put the press tickets right next to Mr. Machover so I could watch him control the program in real time with his ipad.
♥ Ian Bostridge: WOW. That pretty much sums it up.
♥ Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond): So much talent, so much kindness. Meeting and working with Ms. Worden was a terrific way to spend a week in the summer!
♥ Bill Murray: I’ve been a fan, but meeting him face to face in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and seeing his down-to-earth personality in action made me a super fan. What a guy. Oh yeah, and getting to see The Royal Tenenbaums screened at the NY Film Festival (with Mr. Murray, Wes Anderson and other members of the cast present) was pretty cool, too.
♥ Grant Achatz: Heard him lecture, read his book – got to hang out with him and his staff at the Alinea/Next/Aviary holiday party! Sometimes you get the chance of a lifetime handed to you. That was one for the books.
Here’s to more adventures in awesomeness, 2012!
This makes me feel incredibly nostalgic for something I can’t quite put my finger on.
It’s so lovely to be back in New York City. If you find yourself in town, and you enjoy the work of Charles Dickens, stop by the Morgan Library for their “Dickens at 200″ exhibit. I spent a long time this afternoon reading through letters and manuscripts. For more information, hit the link here.