• Week Three: Bodies need Breaks

    There was a slight delay as I figured out exactly how to log in to my blog this week, but as with everything else I do, I just kept pushing forward and guessing what to do until I got it right. Voila! What an amazing weekend – the Newport Symphony premiered a brand new composition by Mark Fish, in memory of David Ogden Stiers. Two waves of audiences heard it, enjoyed it, and gave two rounds of standing ovations. It was followed by one of my favorite Tchaikovsky works, the suite from Swan Lake. And if you’ll forgive my sentimentality, it was the absolutely perfect ending to a fabulous premiere…

  • Week Two

    Every once in a while, I am brutally reminded that I’m not in my early twenties anymore. *Allow me to adopt an affected nostalgic tone and take a drag on an invisible cigarette* Thoooooose were the days. I could easily practice until midnight, catch some dinner, study until 3 in the morning, wake up around noon, and drag myself to a 2pm orchestra rehearsal without warming up one stitch and be completely fine. Today, my 36-year-old body was pretty unhappy. I woke up at 6am, had a long (but lovely) drive to the coast, then played over four hours of orchestra rehearsal. My hamstrings, in some bodily phenomenon that I’m…

  • Week One

    A lot has happened since I last posted here. One year ago today, I was offered the position of concertmaster of the Newport Symphony Orchestra. It was something I really wanted, and was delighted to accept. Next weekend will mark the final concert of my first season with them. It’s been a whirlwind year, where I played many solos, big and small, and have had friends and family from near and far enjoy and support my big career boost. I’m a lucky kid. Even bigger than that is the addition that T and I welcomed into our family the January before receiving the job offer. That addition is currently asleep…

  • Music Buffet

    I was fortuitous in my music education that I was matched up with many teachers who happened to be exactly what I needed. As I approach the 10th anniversary of receiving my masters degree (side note: wow), I find myself thinking back to several distinct lessons from my past. Most musicians will do this from time to time, with results ranging from mild nostalgia to the strangest of anxiety dreams. But one lesson from my undergraduate degree keeps popping up in my mind over and over. My beloved instructor pointed out that I had a problem. It was a lovely problem, but still a problem. “A music career is like…

  • Moving and Shaking

    Do y’all know how important hobbies are?  Because the answer is VERY.  When I graduated from Northwestern, I took myself to my own special boot camp with a mentor of mine in Los Angeles.  Part of the strength of his teaching lies in his ability to draw analogies from all other areas of his life.  He compared facets of his playing to cooking, to tennis, to being Jewish… everything in his life only emphasized his brilliant music making. Finally one day, probably over teaching me to make latkes, he turned to me and asked, “What are your hobbies, Casey?”  He was leading by example, but hadn’t seen me sufficiently keeping…