The month of June begs for a blog entry. I very proudly managed to squeeze in some of my favorite destinations into our touring schedule and had a wonderful “working” holiday.
We ended the month of May with a dream of mine. For very obvious reasons I always wanted to add a visual element to Lucille's and my performance of Stravinsky's own four hand version of the complete Petrouchka ballet. The classical ballet production is an obvious choice, but maybe not the most practical one. So thanks to our dear friend Geraldina Baca-Spross, a true visionary and our long time partner at the Bravissimo Festival in Guatemala City, we worked with Bit's 'n Pieces puppet theater in a beautiful production of the complete Petrouchka, a story about puppets, with puppets, marionettes and shadow theater. It was truly enchanting.
So we left to Chicago for a now ritual performance at the wonderful Myra Hess Series and embarked on a month long tour of Europe that brought us to some unusual, but unforgettable destinations.
|Beautiful Harpa Concert Hall in Rejkyavik|
From the breathtaking Alps we left for a new destination for us. We had been invited to the Við Djúpið festival in the West Fjords of Iceland. Traveling to a totally new country is something that doesn't happen too often nowadays, so it's always exciting. After spending a week in the West Fjords I can safely say that all future travel is now officially spoiled for us. I can't think of any place that could take my breath away in quite the same way that this amazing country has. The fjords, the mountains, the black sand, the 24 hour daylight and the amazing light constantly worked their magic on us. We literally felt in the most beautiful of dreams. As usual, I took an interest in the local food. Whale meat was very interesting, and the halibut and catfish was by far the best I have ever tasted. The texture and taste of Icelandic fish is unlike anything else. The food, the warmth of the people, the great music making, Iceland's stimulating cultural life and the constant feeling that we were in a beautiful new and unspoiled world made it an unforgettable experience all together.
|Sunbathing in the Midnight Sun|
|4am on the Fjords|
|Stunning views on Iceland|
|The Shoe Factory|
|The Olive Grove|
After Cyprus, I started a back-to-back summer festival schedule, which will end only at the end of August and will let me visit home just for a week this summer. We left Cyprus for Long Island, for the Stony Brook International Piano Festival, then the wonderful Mimir Festival in Fort Worth (for my 9th year in a row!), and the Young Artist World Piano Festival in Minneapolis, where I played my first ever (!) Beethoven 1 and met over 60 incredibly talented piano students. It was a beautiful event that really made me believe in a bright future for our beloved art form. I also taped my first “Performance Today” at MPR/APM with classical music royalty Fred Child (a super-cool guy). I have to say it was probably one of the most stimulating and interesting interviews I have done in a very long time. It will be out in August in two different segments, mixed with quite a bit of playing I did in their studio.
As always, you can follow the links to my Picasa's Web album for more pictures from Elmau 1, Elmau 2, Cyprus, and Iceland