Thursday, November 19, 2009

it's about's my journal from the first tour of Russia in 2007

Over two years have passed from my first Trans-siberian tour of Russia in 2007. I went back with Lucille in 2008 and in both occasion I wrote long journals about the experience. I kept them for me and a few friends until now, but I think I'm quite ready to share them. Here is the journal from 2007.  The order of the pictures is completely random....Hope you enjoy it.
Here's the LINK

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Back To Rainy NYC, dreaming of myrtle berries and suckling pig...

It was an interesting 10 days, between the late night flight to Guatemala, our stay there and the hectic few days in Dallas. Flying during the whole night before the concert might just be the way to do it. I was so tired that I slept all the way to Guatemala, was greeted by a hearty breakfast of eggs, beans and coffee, rehearsed with Lucille and slept again. By concert time I was fresh as a rose (or a Guatemalan orchid)...

Guatemala is really a special place, and being there with Lucille for the first time made it even more so. Our stay in beautiful Antigua, at the amazing Posada de Los Leones (highly recommended) was like a new honeymoon.  As usual, we sampled, well, more like devoured the local food (including my favorite: pig's head and stomach soup), and just caught up on some much needed rest. We found a great partner in the Bravissimo Festival and are always thrilled to be back there.


Then to Dallas, for a few lessons at SMU. It's always great to be back and see our friends, but this time a visit to our great friend and extraordinary chef Francesco Farris' home was the highlight of our stay. This amazing Sardinian chef and artist invited us for a lunch that started at 1pm and ended after 10pm...yes, lunch. The company, the food and everything else was out of this world. For starters: house cured olives, pickles and anchovies. It took a whole day to cook a delicious suckling pig to perfection in the traditional woodburning oven Francesco built in his garden, and the whole day to cook the amazing black pork sauce for the Sardinian gnocchetti. Then the meal ended with generous samplings of Francesco's own Mirto, the traditional myrtle berry liqueur and a variety of international drinks...  Amazing friends and amazing experience. We can't wait to see them again at the end of November.

Now back in rainy NYC after a day of canceled flights and off to Connecticut for a meaty program of Rachmaninov and Shostakovich Cello Sonatas. Then an exciting week full of rehearsals for an Alice Tully CMS program, with more Rachmaninov (Suite no. 1) and Shostakovich (Concertino), this time for two pianos.

Ah, I can still smell the suckling pig.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

waiting for a 320am flight...

Here I am waiting for midnight, when my yellow pumpkin will bring me to JFK for a flight to Guatemala (via El Salvador!) at 320am (!)
I really am not used to flying so late, so I easily got bored and as you can see I vamped up the blog. I added a link to my public picasa web album (I love photography), and gave it some splashes of color.
The CD release last night was really a lot of fun. Lots of friends came and made it really special. I'm really starting to like to play at (le) Poisson Rouge. It's such a cool place that things that wouldn't work in other settings are ok there, so it's really the perfect venue to experiment with new programs, concepts and, why not, have a drink with friends.
I'm looking forward to the four days in Guatemala, which will include two days in beautiful Antigua before my solo recital there on the 7th. Then off to Dallas where I will see a couple of students at SMU and meet up with my dearest Texan friends. Ok, I'll try and zip up the suitcase now. Adios

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New blog!

I am very excited to start this new blog. My old blog slowly faded out. In spite of my various attempts to resuscitate it, it just became stale and mostly, very slow. Also, its address was, which I always found weird. So, here I am, taking full advantage of the Google empire and trying this out. My old blog will still be up for a while, so by all means, go and visit it so that you know why I changed.
So, where to start. There is just so much to say since my last entry on the old site, that it's probably easier to start fresh.

I am really looking forward to my CD release event at the newest hippest venue in NYC, (le) poisson rouge, on 158 Bleecker Street. "Bach Transcribed" has finally been released in the US (following Japan first, then Europe) and it's time for a celebration. I will play some works from the CD and have invited my friend, and amazing jazz pianist/composer Dan Tepfer to be a guest and play excerpts from his Goldberg Variations project where he plays the variations and improvises on them. It's going to be a lot of fun. Many of my friends will be there and it will really be a celebration of everything Bach....
On the 3rd I have been asked to record a national TV ad for AMEX. I have never done such a thing, but am really looking forward to this new experience. In order to do it I had to change my ticket to Guatemala and the new itinerary is less than perfect. I will leave that same night at 3am, arrive in Guatemala at 915am, rehearse with Lucille the big two piano program and play the concert that same evening. Oh, the joys of traveling!! At least I managed to keep the return portion of the itinerary on American Airlines. That's one thing I am proud of. Last month I became an Executive Platinum for the fourth year in a row, and that really makes next year's travel a lot easier. Airlines have definitely found a way to keep customers loyal, or at least to keep me loyal.
Now off to cook! I ran 5 miles today in a pretty decent time, so Lucille and I are more than ready for the nice rib roast (rare, of course) which I am going to slow-cook right now with a side of grilled fennel perhaps. I might even have to open a nice red wine to go with it, since all I have left at home are a couple of really good bottles... :-)
I am so excited about tomorrow, and hope everyone (including myself) will have a great time!
Welcome to the new blog!