After a summer full of traveling, it is no small relief to finally be settled in Milwaukee. While there is still a lot to get used to, I’m happy to have a cozy apartment to call home and an incredible workspace to call my office. What more could I possibly ask for?
Part of the job of an assistant conductor is very much like school: studying scores. It is quite possibly the only aspect of my job that will not require somewhat of a mental adjustment from school to work! It is also comforting because I love scores – the actual pages of music. After all these years of studying music, I still find it almost like magic the way my mind instantly transforms any music I see on paper into sounds in my head. I don’t mean it in any “genius” sort of way. In fact, I usually have to spend significant time with a score before I can imagine what it might sound like in actuality. Instead, I can only describe this process like a kid in a candy shop. When I first crack open a score, I can’t help but jump around the score and let snippets of music begin to arrange themselves in my head. It’s rather random, but it is a wonderful feeling as you soak up everything in front of you.
With regards to our opening week here at the MSO, I had that feeling when I opened up Beethoven’s masterpiece: the Grosse Fuge. Originally, written for string quartet, I was familiar with the work, but had only briefly looked over a score years ago. It is such a complex work that I have spent my first several nights here just scratching at the surface. Using my analogy above, there’s simply a new piece of candy to taste in every moment of this work. I can’t wait to eventually share my final thoughts with you in a few weeks during my pre-concert presentation, but for now, here’s an incredible youtube video of the Grosse Fuge with animation. I hope you enjoy it!