Cello Virtuosity/Gourmet Cuisine

I am not a virtuoso cellist, by my own understanding of the definition. Mind you, I am a fine cello technician, and I can play challenging passages in orchestral literature. Luckily, there is a place for me in the music world, serving happily in a chamber orchestra and playing my electric cello too. I love wearing different musical "hats", part of which is my role as section cellist of Northwest Sinfonietta orchestra. We just had the joy of playing Samuel Jones' cello concerto with Julian Schwarz, who is indeed a virtuoso. The piece was written for him, and he first premiered it in 2010 at the age of 19. Julian has been a guest soloist in our orchestra over the years, and it has been amazing to watch him evolve. It is always fun to be onstage with amazing soloists, but it is extra exciting to have a cellist onstage in the spotlight. He plays with great power and intensity, yet he also has this wonderful ease. What a musical signature he makes! 

I often think about comparisons between food and music, and how we feed our bodies and souls. The Jones concerto is a rich gourmet feast, complex and lush. The combinations of notes and layers may entice you right away, or you may need some time to let the flavors sink in. I know with my daughter, she does not always want that pumpkin curry (even though I delight in making that 15 ingredient curry paste) or a Moroccan quinoa pilaf that I enjoy, but I also know I should keep making it and offering it to help develop her taste for such things, and keep her palate open... On the other hand, I'm glad to cook things she really likes. Likewise, I'm glad to cook up music that folks enjoy, knowing that sometimes simple things can reach out and touch the heart. I have been wondering what food is like my music, and I'm thinking some of it might be like my homemade granola, with its bittersweet cacoa nibs mixed in... or maybe it is a little dish that reminds you of something your mother used to make when you were young... 

In any case, check out Young Master Julian. His touring schedule is on his website--perhaps you will find him in your area! In the meantime, send me your thoughts on food and music if you wish... 

Bon appetit!


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