Day 23 – Final Concerts, Part II


This will be the final post for IMFA 2014! It’s been a tremendous festival, with wonderful music making, a great sense of community spirit, and lots of new friendships. As expected, the time has flown by. Here are some photos from an excursion I took this morning with Spencer to the church of San Giovanni in Tuba, which is not far from Duino, and which features ancient remains that date, possibly, to the 6th century, when it was probably used as a temple to the Greek god Diomedes. Tonight’s concert... Read The Rest →

Day 22 – Final Concerts, Part I


Today we begin winding down IMFA, but not before a final flurry of musical performances. The day began as usual, with announcements from our fearless leaders, Spencer and Andy. Instead of Italian class, Stefano gave us a little test. And then Spencer and Andy gave him a test–that is, they created a make believe concert program and asked him to spontaneously create some program notes for an imaginary audience. This is something that Stefano does for each of our concerts: he introduces the featured composers and says a little about... Read The Rest →

Day 21 – Dvorak and Brahms


Today began with an outing to Trieste for about 2/3 of IMFA. Last week, Stefano took us to the outside of the Risiera di San Sabba, a former rice processing complex south of the city center that was later used by the Nazis as Italy’s sole concentration camp. This was my first visit to such a place, and of course, it was haunting and deeply sorrowful to visit.┬áIt feels a little strange to share lots of photos of this place, so I’ll just post a photo of the main entrance... Read The Rest →

Day 20 – Mozart BBQ


Today was a double-header: we began with our final concert in the Duino Castello at noon and ended with the world-famous Mozart BBQ. The concert in the castello was jam packed with terrific music and wonderful performances. Nearly all IMFA students performed, and each of the composers was featured (second performances of our Italian art songs). We had a full crowd for most of the 90-minute concert. At 2 pm, we strolled down the road from the castello to the oldest house in Duino, which was the site for the... Read The Rest →

Day 19 – Rehearsals and French Concert


Today we were back to a “normal” work day at IMFA, the last day we’ll have scheduled rehearsals and seminars. The composers met in the morning to share musical recordings that have helped shape their own creative voices, then had individual meetings with Stefano. We also had rehearsals of string trios by Grant and Rachel in the afternoon. This evening, we gathered in the UWC auditorium for a concert of music by French composers. We were asked to produce this concert in order to coincide with a symposium of French... Read The Rest →

Day 18 – Beethoven and Brahms


Today the faculty and two students made another sojourn to Trieste to perform a chamber music concert. We were invited as guests of one of Trieste’s most-loved classical musicians, Luca Delle Donne, who has served as a performer and masterclass teacher for the past two summers at IMFA. The venue was a penthouse on the top floor of the Generali building, just around the corner from the Grand Canale. Our string faculty (Janet, Spencer and Brooks) performed a beautiful Beethoven string trio, and then Luca and friends (Janet and Brooks,... Read The Rest →

Day 17 – Trieste


Though we have been in Duino for over 2 weeks, we have not ventured as a group to Trieste, so today was an important one for us. We began with a visit to the Schmidl theater museum, situated on Trieste’s “grand canal” (not as grand as Venice’s, but still very nice). The museum is filled with interesting memorabilia associated with the musical life of Trieste and the region, in particular, the Verdi opera house. There is also an impressive collection of musical instruments, including several historic keyboard instruments that visitors... Read The Rest →

Day 16 – Art Song Rehearsals


We began composition seminar today by exploring the works of two early 20th century composers who wrote beautifully for strings–Roy Harris (Symphony no. 3) and Arthur Honegger (Symphony no. 2). These two often-neglected composers left behind a sizable body of work that deserves to be heard and enjoyed. We also had final rehearsals for our art song performances. Tomorrow afternoon, the IMFA community will travel to Trieste to visit the Schmidl theater museum and to hear some of our students and faculty perform an informal recital. Included on the program... Read The Rest →

Day 15 – Guest composer and string workshop


After recovering from our sojourn to Slovenia, we’re back to a work day at IMFA. We began with a seminar with a guest composition student from Udine, also named Stefano. He shared two works with us, including a wonderful work for chamber orchestra that sparked lots of conversation. Each of our IMFA composers also shared works. It’s always fascinating to encounter students from other musical traditions and backgrounds. In the afternoon, we met again to look at our completed (or nearly completed) string ensemble compositions. Between 4:30 and 6:30, we... Read The Rest →

Day 14 – Slovenia


Thanks to some connections we’ve made with one of our local students, Felipe Prenz, we made a special trip to northern Slovenia today to perform some music as part of a grand opening event. The location was the hamlet of Kamna Gorica, near the city of Bled. This beautiful mountain town mostly lives in a valley, but on one of the mountain sides is a beautiful baroque church and an old building that was being opened to the public today as a museum. We made the two hour drive in... Read The Rest →

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