Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dan Matsukawa and the mission

As you can see, I've been derelict in my blogging once again - mostly because it's been such a crazy week! I actually haven't turned my computer on since Sunday morning - I usually like to do my blogging on my own computer, but when I don't get home until after 10 it seems like too much trouble to boot it up.

On Sunday, the gigging gods smiled on me (maybe since I finally gave some long-overdue recognition to Jason Heath's amazing gig story!) and I got to play in a pops orchestra in Boca Raton, accompanying jazz trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval and his combo. Then on Monday, someone offered me two tickets to Itzakh Perlman's recital in Carnival Center at the last minute - they were three rows away from the stage, I could practically read off his music - so how could I turn that down? On Tuesday evening we had our first rehearsal for this weekend's concerts, which feature Leila Josefowicz playing the first Prokofiev Violin Concerto, Berlioz' Overture to Beatrice and Benedict, and Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, the Pathetique. And yesterday evening we had a mock audition, which I coordinated and played on, so I didn't get home until after 10 that night either.

Tonight I went to see Leila Josefowicz's violin masterclass - also way too compelling to pass up, and I've already exhausted my blogging time listing excuses here! I do want to include something Daniel Matsukawa, the principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, gave us today in a talk on audition preparation and anecdotes. It's sort of a mission statement about what we all aspire to become - which, as Dan Matsukawa reminds us, is way more than just a successful audition candidate! His own words say it best:
If you have mastered your instrument, call yourself a good instrumentalist. If you know how to phrase and know the structure of music, call yourself a good musician. But until you and/or the person out there in the back row get goose bumps (from joy or sorrow), don't call yourself an artist. This should be the goal. Unfortunately, many people today make it their goal to master the technique of the horn. That should only be the start that makes it easier to express yourself -- your own voice. Even after one simple phrase, know that it was yours and that nobody can take that away from you. Not only for the sheer joy of music making for ourselves, but to move people. That is why we do what we do...isn't it?
If you come to this weekend's concerts, I promise you'll hear some blazing, soulful, goose-bump-raising music making, from Leila Josefowicz and from the orchestra under conductor Mark Wigglesworth.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Danny Matsukawa is awesome!!

And the concert definitely did produce goosebumps, atleast for me.