It's May! Yikes.

This weekend the KW Symphony performs Beethoven's 9th Symphony on our final Signature Series program of the season, along with Barbara Croall's stunning "Messages" - as the KWS website says: Odawa First Nations composer Barbara Croall’s piece, Mijidwewinan (Messages), is a work that evokes the delicate balance humankind has with nature; a perfect accompaniment to the Ninth Symphony’s message of peace and harmony. It's been a good few days of rehearsals in prep for this season finale, but we're not quite done even when the Sunday matinee has wrapped.

Next week we've got three fun school concerts for kids bused in to hear us at Centre in the Square. Actually at least one of the schools coming is located just across the street so they'll be walking over for sure. Some of my neighbors' kids are students there and I know they're excited to come hear us and see me 'at work' on stage, as opposed to standing around on the sidewalk outside our homes while the kids play with each other in our increasingly sun-drenched driveways...

Other stuff coming up in the next weeks include...

May 20 2pm at Gallery345 in Toronto, I'm in a chamber music program with my friends Adam, Arkady, Britt, and Elina playing music by Chausson, Sibelius, and Faure. 

May 21-25 I'm in Ottawa playing in the NACO's viola section for a concert program featuring Emanuel Ax playing Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, coupled with Strauss's Ein Heldenleben, about which I am super excited. Super!

May 27 at 4pm I'll be at Rosedale Presbyterian Church in Toronto playing some fantastic chamber music with my friends Wallace on saxophone, Stephanie on piano (doing Paul Hindemith's wicked piano trio op.47 for sax, viola, and piano); and Wallace's fabulous soprano wife Xin will join me for a devastating work by Giya Kancheli for viola and soprano. There's some other music on the program you'd probably also enjoy. You should come!

and then... June 3rd from 3-5pm in Kitchener - I'm hosting another Chamber Music Gym Jam! at Amma Yoga. Check it out here: http://www.ammayoga.ca/jam/ or here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2088339678056644/. Basically, I've roped in a bunch of my friends and colleagues from the KW Symphony to spend a couple hours sight-reading chamber music in public for free (well, I'm providing some snacks and good cheer). Sometimes friendly groups of musicians enjoy hanging out in one or another's living room reading chamber music into the night, typically accompanied by plenty of food and alcohol to keep us all happy despite the chaotic stress of sight-reading in an ensemble - but that's usually in private. I'm making us do it in public, which I think is maybe more fun, as long as the scene is properly set and nobody's expectations are too high. We did this back on April 22 and everyone involved, players and audience, had a blast, so I think we're all looking forward to the next attempt. If you happen to be in the area, come out and drop by, listen to us and laugh with us, you might even hear something really beautiful and moving!

All right, that's enough for now. Time for bed, with Beethoven's Ode to Joy melody looping in my head...