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 →

Day 13 – Udine


We successfully made it through a two-concert day–we began with our second concert in the Castello di Duino at noon, and ended with a 5 pm concert in Udine, a city just north of here. Both concerts featured our wonderful string and piano students, and also featured performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3. IMFA string students perform Bach in the Castello di Duino Our concert venue in Udine was a beautiful convent/church which now houses a prestigious high school. Last year, we performed in the sanctuary of the church... Read The Rest →

Day 12 – Work Day


It’s the proverbial “hump day” at IMFA. We are officially halfway through the program, and students are busily practicing, composing and rehearsing. The composers had a work day today, with a brief check-in this morning and optional “office hours” with me in the afternoon. Otherwise, they were free to compose all day long. I decided to get some of my own work done today, including video editing and some score editing on Finale (music notation program). By mid-afternoon, I couldn’t spend any more time in front of my computer screen,... Read The Rest →

Day 11 – There fell a heavenly dew


Ah, the sweet smell and cool relief of a summer rain! The day began as it has for the past week or so–85 degrees by 10 am, climbing into the 90’s by midday. And then the clouds began to roll in, with the soft rumble of thunder, and finally, by 8 pm or so, rain began to fall on Duino. As this was happening, some lovely music was heard coming from the auditorium on our campus–Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3, rehearsed by our wonderful string students. We are all busily... Read The Rest →

Day 10 – Art song workshop


It is hot in Duino–high of 93 today, and at 8 pm, it is 87. The locals describe the weather asĀ caldissimo. But the hot weather didn’t stop us from making music. Today we heard our Italian art songs for the first time, sung by Amanda, Lauretta and Andy. Some wonderful sounds and expressive text settings.We are also beginning our final projects–chamber music for strings. We’ll have two string trios, a cello quartet and a sextet. Those pieces will be workshopped on Monday and performed the following Monday and Tuesday. And... Read The Rest →

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