New term, new challenges…

It’s the first week of my second term at the RSAMD, and I thought it would be good to write some of things I want to do this term and what’s already in my diary- it seems to be filling up fast…

Solo work

  • I need to arrange my 50 minute final recital (possibly for may?), including the following repertoire:
    • Brahms Eb Sonata – (mostly learnt apart from last movement, need to rehearse with Hester)
    • Bach Suite 5 in C minor (I know the Prelude and a few other movements roughly but it all needs work)
    • Enescu concertstucke (new and I need to learn)
    • Possibly Walton 1st mvt (I need to revise this)
  • I think I have to write programme notes so it would be good to start researching these pieces.
  • Continue working on my posture in Alexander Technique lessons, trying to become freer around my shoulders and neck when I play and eliminating the tension I hold there. I have just ordered a new SAS chinrest which is slighter higher than my old one, which should help me in this process, as I know that I have a long neck and my current setup is giving me some pain when I play for long periods. I will also work on strengthening my arms, shoulders and neck with exercise.
  • Work on my vibrato to get it even on all notes- practicing slow scales should help this. Patience is needed…

Chamber music:

  • There are some exciting developments here!  Following Robert Irvine’s suggestion, I asked my cellist friend Katarina whether her piano trio would be interested in forming a piano quartet with me, and when I met with them yesterday they seemed really keen which is great! We haven’t chosen repertoire yet but will look at Beethoven, Dvorak and Schumann next week to see which we want to work on.
  • I’m continuing to play in Zoe’s quartet and we are entering a competition this term with a Haydn quartet and possibly the Ravel one- to be decided.
  • Robert also suggested I form a trio with a harpist and flautist to work on Debussy’s Sonata for that combination of instruments. I need to contact the people he put me in touch with about this…

Concerts this term : Scottish Ensemble ‘Side by Side’ tour (8-14th Feb), MusicLab Birtwistle concert (to be confirmed -postponed from November), open day performance class (18th Jan), RSAMD chamber orchestra (25th March)

Competitions: I will be entering the Viola Challenge Prize competition, in which a new piece is commissioned and candidates have a limited time to prepare it without input from their teachers. Unfortunately the prize is only £15 (compared to other prizes at the academy, a very paltry sum!) I think I will also enter the concerto competition with the Walton Viola Concerto – the prelim is on 7th March so I’d better get on and learn it…..


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