Casalmaggiore Festival (Part 1 of 3)
Recently there has been so much exciting happenings that I thought I would start my own blog to share some of these events with whomever wants to take the time. :) What better place to start then, than my wonderful trip to the Casalmaggiore Festival! After a rather tricky journey, my flight was delayed by nearly two hours from Gatwick, meaning I not only missed the bus provided but also the last train to Casalmaggiore. Not to worry, I arrived in the early hours on the 6th July and luckily, Italians don't seem to sleep, except in the middle of the day, so one of the organisers was on hand to let me in and show me to my room. The shock my roommates got when they woke up in the morning to see the other bed was mysteriously filled by morning was quite the sight. So, onto the first day and I was only just on time for the orientation meeting. It contained all the usual info you expect and introduction of the staff.. All very pleasant. Straight after, the pianist, Robert Ropa who I will be working with for my first concert seeks me out so we can rehearse immediately. After all, our concert was only 9 hours away, and this was the first time we had met. I had a really lovely time playing with her. Her efervescent personality complimented her fantastic abilities on the piano briliantly, and we had no problems fitting my Ginastera and Paganini together at all. The first concert took place that evening at the unusually late time of 9:15. Or at least it seemed, but it soon became obvious that part of the reason for this was the heat during the day was sweltering. Although still very hot placing the concert at this time meant even if only slightly, it was cooler and much easier to play. We were in the chapel for this one and the old paintings (I've forgotten the name for the specific kind of artistry) had clearly seen better days, but nonetheless made for a beautiful venue. When I first entered, I couldn't help but admire the beauty of the venue. It is a great reminder of the immense cultural heritage Italy has to offer. For this concert, the inaugural concert of the festival, there was a wonderfully large audience, who were greatly appreciative of all the music in the concert. It was one of the most enjoyable concerts I have played in.
More to follow.... :)