On my music stand…

February 22, 2012 / 0 Comments

Saturday, Feb. 25th – Music of Beat Furrer and Helmut Lachenmann
http://www.soundicon.org/#!concerts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn5QMami8_g


Sunday, Feb. 26th – Music of Igor Stravinsky and F.J. Haydn
http://www.indianhillmusic.org/2_1_1_ClassicalSeries.html#ChoralFeb


Thursday, March 15th – Playing with soprano Susan Bonito and pianist Michelle Kelley for Variations on a Theme by Mozart by Adolph Adam
http://www.indianhillmusic.org/ 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKxGrL7uvlg

(Video won’t embed so click the link to listen!)


 

2011 – Year in Review

January 4, 2012 / 0 Comments

2011 was a really great year. It brought many memorable musical performances, wonderful students, multiple airplane trips traveling across the country, and fun visits in Boston from family and dear friends. I was inspired by the idea for a “Year in Review” post from reading some other blogs and decided to make a post about my own journey in 2011. To remember what happened each month, I’ve had to reference calendars, e-mail and iPhoto to remember everything that took place. I found pictures from most months except for February, April, and September, in which I can only find pictures of my cat or things I baked.

January

Snow, snow, and more snow! I think we got around 40 inches in January alone. I think I had at least 4 days of teaching to reschedule due to the snow. By the end of the month, there were snow many piles everywhere that it was hard to find places to shovel the new snow.

An empty Davis Square in the middle of a snow storm

February

February cat picture since I couldn’t find any others.

 

March

Greg and I traveled to Austin in the middle of the month as he attended SXSW Interactive and I helped Carmen with some wedding details.  I got to see her new house for the very first time and we went on a quest to satisfy our thirst for authentic Mexican food (which is not found in Boston!).  I flew back to Boston to two intense weeks of outreach quintet concerts, Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, and Sound Icon’s inaugural concert.

Austin Java downtown near City Hall

 

Dropping Greg off at SXSW

April

April was spent recovering from March and getting ready for May! I spent time planning Carmen’s Bridal Luncheon and consulting on wedding details.  The only pictures from this month are of the cat.

Dolce is excited that all the snow is gone because she can go outside again for “walks” on her leash.Shortly after, I finished up the teaching semester and headed off to Switzerland to join eighth blackbird at a new music festival.  I met some new friends, played good music, and soaked up the beautiful Swiss countryside.

 

 

 

 

View of Lake Geneva from Chexbres Village

L-R David Trum (composer, me, Megan Ihnen (mezzo-soprano), Kerrith Livengood (flute/composer), and Nick Photinos (cello)

July

I flew back to Boston after an unexpected extra day in Paris thanks to Air France maintenance strikes and was happily reunited with Greg and my kitty. I taught a week-long flute camp to a bunch of really great kids.  Mid-week during lunch, one of my flutists ran to come get me because a giant snapping turtle appeared in the creek by their lunch area. At first, I really didn’t believe that it would be a giant snapping turtle but they were correct!  I hadn’t been outside a minute when the giant snapping turtle floated up to the surface and clamped down on a normal-sized turtle that had been nicknamed “Sheldon Jr.” earlier that week.  You can watch a video clip to gauge the snapping turtle’s size.  This was taken after Sheldon Jr. was turtle-napped.

Click here for video of giant turtle.

Who says art therapy doesn’t work?  I found this drawing on one of the bulletin boards at the end of the day.

Art Therapy soothes turtle attack memories.

My old roomie, Lindsey, came to visit Boston for a few days. We hit up the beach at Plum Island, drank cocktails at Top of the Hub, rode the Swan Boats, picked blueberries, and caught up on everything that has been happening in our lives.

Blueberry picking with Lindsey

August

This month featured a visit from Carmen and Kathryn where I took my 3rd trip of the season to Rockport.  We also went to Wingaersheek Beach for the first time.

Carmen’s “Lobster” at Roy Moore Lobster Company in Rockport

September

The school year aka “teaching time” and performance season started up again!  I’ll spare you the cute cat picture for this month.

October

Greg’s entire family came to visit in October. We took our visitors on a trip to Bearskin Neck in Rockport, Halibut Point State Park, Essex, and the Topsfield State Fair to see the giant pumpkins. We also took the obligatory Freedom Trail Tour, walked the Public Gardens, watched the 2011 Honkfest Parade, and visited Harvard Square during Oktoberfest.

Extreme Gardening – The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Progress

Obligatory Texas Longhorn Picture at the Topsfield State Fair

I thought this was a very creative sign to discourage smoking in the barns.

Harvard Square T with Cindy

October ended with a visit from my mom (sadly no pictures) and several concerts.

November

Just as the New England winter weather was starting to sneak in, we escaped to Florida for a family vacation with my parents and sister.  We left on a cruise ship out of Ft. Lauderdale and docked at San Juan, PR, St. Marteen, St. Thomas, and a private Bahamas Island owned by Princess Cruises.

Ocean View from El Morro Fort, San Juan, PR

On the Catamaran “Party Boat”

Pre-snorkeling sunscreen application.

Kayaking in Magens Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Goofing around in the Bahamas with my sister

 

One of the many beautiful sunsets seen from the boat.

December

Although the plan was to spend a quiet Christmas in Boston, we flew to Washington, D.C. for 2 days to spend Christmas with my extended family and visit with my Grandfather.

Wishing everyone all the best for a prosperous and lively 2012!

 

SpinDrift Commissioning Project 2012

December 28, 2011 / 0 Comments

Please consider supporting a project that composer Pamela Marshall has launched as part of two new music creations for new music ensembles. One of those ensembles is the Addington/Arnold duo in which I perform with cellist Rachel Arnold.

http://www.rockethub.com/projects/4144-spindrift-commissioning-guild-2012

Spindrift Commissioning Guild is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Spindrift Commissioning Guild must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Your support fuels a commission fee for the composer, fees for the musicians for recording the music, and money to press the CD, make initial copies of the printed scores, and produce a few T-shirts and tote bags. 6% covers the fiscal sponsorship fee. Additional money will support a concert and recording sessions for other pieces in the queue.

More details are available on the link above! Thanks for supporting this project!

Have you ever seen Giant Pumpkins?

October 9, 2011 / 0 Comments

Fall in New England wouldn’t be complete without a scenic drive and a visit from Greg’s family was the perfect reason to head out of the city for a day.

Bearskin's Neck in Rockport

Boats in Rockport Harbor

The view of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine from the Ocean Lookout at Halibut Point State Park

We spent the morning walking in Rockport, exploring the old Granite Quarry in Halibut State Park, and checking out antique stores in Essex. My favorite part of the day was our spontaneous visit to the famous Topsfield Fair. A few years ago, we watched a documentary called Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence on giant pumpkins (check out more information here) and since then, I’ve had a secret obsession with going to the Topsfield Fair to watch the Giant Pumpkin Contest. I had already researched the Topsfield Fair as a possibility for a visit on our excursion and since we were only a few miles away and looking for something do to in the afternoon, we headed on over.

Giant Pumpkins!

Close-up of the giant pumpkins.

Pumpkin vs. Man.

Weighing of the Pumpkins.

When we left, the largest pumpkin had weighed in at 660 pounds! The eventual winner weighed in at 1,668.5 pounds. A story about the winner is here. Before they weighed the pumpkins, they weighed and measured other vegetables in what was called “Xtreme Gardening”. The winners were a 160-pound watermelon, 14-pound rutabaga, 124-inch tall Gourd, and a 4-pound tomato. The giant pumpkins were pretty amazing to see and it was fun to sit in the stands and overhear all of the Giant Pumpkin farmers sitting close to use talk about how they grow their pumpkins.

Summer is ending or fall is beginning?

August 26, 2011 / 0 Comments

Between traveling, teaching summer camps, and having friends visit, this summer has flown by quickly. I’m enjoying my last few days of free evenings before the teaching year gears up again. (I really shouldn’t complain too much since my teacher friends in Texas have already been working for a few weeks.)

There are several exciting performances happening this season. I’ve updated my performance calendar for the next six months. Keep checking back for updates.

One of my favorite friends, Lindsey, came up to Boston to visit back in July. We took a day trip up to Newburyport and sat on the beach. She also has a new job teaching at Southeastern Louisiana University. Congratulations!

On the Beach at Plum Island, Newburyport, MA

A baby seal came out of the water to rest on the beach for a few minutes. We were worried that he wasn’t feeling well but a representative from the New England Aquarium was on the beach who assured us that it was completely normal for them to rest when they got tired.

The baby seal is tired and came up to rest on the beach.

Greg fished and caught a skate. Ugly, right? We did not take the skate home to eat for dinner.

Eww....skate.

Back in Boston, we rode the swan boats in the Boston Garden. I highly recommend this boat ride as it was only $2.75 per person!

Acting like kids on the Swan Boats.

We finished off our visit with some blueberry picking at Honey Pot Hill Orchards. We went in the middle of a warm afternoon so we were the only ones picking except for one other family.

Freshly picked quarts of blueberries.

Carmen and Kathryn also came to visit – they took the pictures so I just need to get copies from them. Overall, this was an excellent summer. I am looking forward to the fall and getting back into my regular routine.

Gluten-Free Baking – Experiment #1

August 20, 2011 / 0 Comments

Greg has been eating gluten-free since late March.  It hasn’t been too tricky to modify our cooking to leave out gluten and other than not being able to make him sandwiches for lunch, I don’t have any complaints about cooking GF.  There are numerous cooking blogs online dedicated to gluten-free recipes.

At first glance, the world of GF baking appears intimidating.  Other than purchasing some GF pancake mix and a box of GF Brownie mix where you just need to add water and eggs, I’d only glanced longingly at the variety of rice, tapioca, and potato flour at Whole Foods.  Greg wouldn’t describe me as a particularly patient baker.  To be fair,  neither would I.  He has put up with eating several batches of mediocre cookies and other baked goods over the years, so I knew I’d need some time to pick a recipe and the time to follow directions carefully for a tasty end result.

How did we get from the end of March to the end of August with no time to bake?  First, it was a busy spring and summer with lots of teaching and playing.  Second, since we only have one window unit AC and our oven is a monster, we choose carefully which days in the summer to cook seeing turning the oven on for 30 minutes can dramatically heat up the house.

Variety of GF Products

I really wanted to bake cupcakes but decided to stick with a simpler recipe for my first attempt. I decided to make Alton Brown’s Chewy Gluten Free Cookie from the Food Network website.

Lots of melted butter.

Normally, I would generally substitute applesauce/yogurt for some of the butter/oil but until I learn how that changes the result of GF baking, I decided I should stick to the original recipe. I did have to substitute the final 1/4 cup of brown sugar with white sugar since I didn’t anticipate running out.

Dry ingredients have been sifted with a fork.

I also used my hand-held mixer instead of a mixing bowl. Someday when our kitchen is not Boston-sized, I’ll have enough counter space to own a beautiful Cuisinart Kitchenaid. I chilled the dough as instructed and prepared my baking sheets. The recipe was supposed to make 2 dozen cookies but by the time I finished balling the two baking sheets into 24 cookies, I still have about half of the dough left.

Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies - half of the batch

Since I was in the mood to be goofy, I used the rest of the leftover dough to make this for Greg. I surprised Greg with the double heart cookie. Unfortunately, less than ten minutes later, our frisky feline hopped up on the kitchen table where the cookie plate was resting and accidently knocked it off  to the floor.  =( Kitty is in trouble!

GF baking with love!

The verdict was declared to be “pretty tasty for being gluten-free.” Maybe Experiment #2 will be a bit more daring.

A brief snapshot of my two week adventure in Blonay (Blu-nay), Switzerland and areas surrounding Lake Geneva

July 5, 2011 / 0 Comments

Happy 90th Birthday, Mr. Willoughby!

June 6, 2011 / 0 Comments

Taken after my performance on Robert Willoughby's 90th Birthday Concert, June 5, 2011, New Castle Congregational Church, New Castle, New Hampshire

Chicago!

June 5, 2011 / 0 Comments

Vacation time!  After a busy spring and my sister’s wedding, Greg and I took a quick vacation to Chicago to visit family and friends. I’ve been a fan of Top Chef since almost the first season. My sister-in-law, Cindy, who knows everything cool happening in Chicago made reservations back in March when we booked the trip to eat at Stephanie Izard’s new trendy restaurant called Girl and the Goat. The restaurant serves small plates and usually offers 10 veggie dishes, 10 fish dishes, and 10 meat dishes.  You order to share and then the kitchen orders the food for service! After sipping on a cocktail and sharing a bottle of wine, we only remembered to take a few pictures of what we ate as the evening went on. First up was some delicious grilled asparagus! (Please excuse the photo quality – taken on an iPhone!)

Grilled Asparagus!

The other veggie dishes we shared were a plate of chickpea fritters (pictured below) and roasted cauliflower.

Chickpea Fritters at Girl and the Goat

Our other delicious bites included calamari, halibut, pork ribs, pork belly, and pig face (pictured below). I was hesitant to try the pig face but Cindy recommended that we order it since the last time she was at Girl and the Goat, her friends raved about the pig face. The egg was very tasty but the actual pig face part was not my favorite. If I had to use one word to describe the way pig face tasted, I would use the word “gooey”. One bite was plenty for me on this dish.

Pig Face with an Egg at Girl and the Goat

We were stuffed so we opted to skip dessert and head home. Overall the food was quite excellent, service was nice, and it was fun to see Stephanie expediting at the kitchen. I did notice the next morning that my clothes I’d worn to the restaurant smelled like I’d been camping – most likely due to the open and smoky kitchen!

We brunched at Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill the next morning down by the Chicago River.  I found the food to be better than some of the Interior Mexican food that we can find in Boston, but I believe Polvo’s in Austin still wins my vote over Frontera any day.

Ashley and Cindy

We spent some time walking down the river, across Michigan Avenue, and wandered in Millennium Park.  Cloud Gate, aka, “The Bean” is a very striking sculpture; albeit pretty smudged with fingerprints from everyone touching it while posing for pictures. We took an informative Architectural Boat Tour on the Chicago river, stopped for some average-tasting fro-yo, walked up the rest of Michigan Avenue and along Lakeshore Drive back to Nate and Cindy’s place. After freshening up for dinner, we met up at Fiorentino’s Cucina Italiana with Greg’s college roommate and friend, Chris, and his wife Melanie. We enjoyed a nice Italian meal, cab-hopped to Webster’s Wine Bar, and finally ended up at the Goose Island Brewery near Wrigley Field.

Bean Reflections

Walking along Lake Michigan

Chicago Skyline near Lake Michigan Beach

I spent Sunday morning sitting on a bench on the shores of Lake Michigan with my ex-Longy violist Alisa, who was kind enough to drive down from Northwestern to chat! We ended up spending most of Sunday afternoon wandering around Lincoln Park Zoo with Nate, Cindy, Chris, Melanie, and their 2 cute kids!

Kaze forever!

My favorite animal - the lions!

Sunday was topped off with one final meal at the Wildfire Restaurant in Chicago with Greg’s dad who just got into town on business. We walked around Old Town on Monday morning, munched on some un-memorable salads for lunch, and took the “L” to the airport where we endured a 2.5+ hour ground delay out of Boston. Since our flight to Chicago arrived an unheard of 30 minutes early, it only figures that we must balance that out with a major delay. No harm was done and we finally made it back to Boston after a great quick trip!

Join Me at a Couple New England Summer Music Camps

February 27, 2011 / 0 Comments

This summer I am teaching at two music camps in New England. If you are a young flutist, this is an excellent opportunity to improve your playing and make new friends.

Indian Hill Music SummerDayMusic

July 25 – August 5, 2011, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

An innovative two-week program for ages 8-18 that balances traditional instrument and music theory study with opportunities to discover the diverse world of music. Core curriculum provides essential instruction in technique and musicianship, and elective classes foster creativity and exploration of new instruments and musical styles. Performances are focused on learning and sharing music together, so students are encouraged to play and sing in a variety of ensembles. Students’ experiences are broadened as they learn to work together, and to inspire and support each other in the educational process.  More information available here.

NCMS Flute Festival

July 11-15, 2011 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Designed for students entering grades 6-12 in Fall 2011

Join us for our 7th year of FLUTE, FUN, and FRIEND. Each day includes warm-ups focusing on technique and tone, solo master classes, flute choir, and a chance to play with a pianist. NCMS flute teacher Ashley Addington will be joined by special guest artists throughout the week, giving students new insight and perspective from a variety of teachers. Students should bring a snack, lunch and a beach towel or yoga mat each day.  More information here.

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