What is the pinnacle of any classical artist’s performing career? Playing in Carnegie Hall, of course!
It is hard to believe I will be travelling to NYC in the fall to perform with colleagues from Ensemble: Peripherie in one of the most famous venues in the world. We will play works from living composers, some of which will be world premieres. Check out our cool website and the top-notch musicians at http://www.ensembleperipherie.com.
There is an expression among classical musicians which is “Practice, practice, practice leads to Carnegie Hall.” Not unlike triathlon training, you must just spend hours and a lifetime preparing to have the technique necessary to be Carnegie-worthy.
Although I have momentary doubts about whether I’m ready, I do feel like it will be exciting to bring a little of this ensemble’s cutting edge Midwestern Flair to the Big Apple. We are about to embark on a tour of the Midwest: Northern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa all in one week in preparation. It feels like practice races before an Ironman–testing the waters before taking the big scary plunge into the ultimate performance.
Unfortunately, not only practice leads to Carnegie Hall. It also costs lots of money; we’ve been invited to be part of a festival, but there are fees to use the hall, agent fees and publicity fees. Travel is on us, and we are all scrambling to raise money to get our instruments and ourselves out East.
My friend Rich, double bassist, and I are in a hard spot as we have large instruments to transport, as well. I can choose to either fly my instrument in the cabin by paying a full-price ticket for it, or risk putting it under and having it be mishandled, crack from the cold or get lost, as baggage often does these days. I could write an entire post just on the horrors that have happened to musicians traveling with their cellos and basses. You can follow German cellist Alban Gerhardt’s sad story here about how the TSA not only broke a very valuable bow, but also caused major damage to his cello by banging the case shut after inspecting the instrument while in transit. http://www.thestrad.com/Article.asp?ArticleID=2553
We may drive out East, which will be a grueling trip before such an important performance, but that would be ideal for our instruments. Amtrak is another option, but they are so unreliable that I have spent four hours waiting for my train at the closest station to my home in Iowa.
I have started a fundraising site to try and raise some money for travel expenses, but I don’t want to just beg. I want to earn every dollar, so every time I participate in a triathlon or running race, people can “sponsor” me by throwing a few dollars my way. I will also be scheduling some benefit music recitals, which I hope to film and post so that people far away can enjoy them.
Here is the link to my secure website for donating. http://www.gofundme.com/252az0. The site takes a small cut (5%), but I think it’s a nice way to make it safe for all involved and hopefully I will get a widget up on my site so you can see my progress.
I promise to keep you updated on the Ensemble Peripherie, my racing and training, and all that good stuff! Thank you for all of your support.