Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guest Lecturer Robert McDuffie

Last week we were honored to have world famous violinist Robert McDuffie visit our school and share his time with us. I'm looking at his bio online and trying to summarize his credentials, but his accomplishments are so numerous that it would take up this whole blog post to list them here. He is a leader and innovator in his field and we were all transfixed by his stories, advice, and music. He started out the hour by telling us an epic story about his quest for his violin, which was made by Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu in 1735 and is one of only about ten in the world. (you can read about that on his website) Following that story, he talked about how contemporary composers of classical music draw on historical pieces and the importance of being grounded in classical training. He played segments from about 5 different classical pieces, alongside contemporary music that was clearly inspired by the classical pieces. One of the pieces he played for us was a work in progress by Phillip Glass, called "The American Four Seasons" inspired by Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." This is a project Robert McDuffie has been working closely on with Phillip Glass and it comes to New York sometime in 2010, I really want to go!
At the end of his talk, McDuffie answered questions and one thing he said really stuck with me. One of the students asked for his advice in representing and marketing yourself as an artist. He said that if you speak from your heart and you are truly passionate about what you want to do, that people will listen and respond.

Robert McDuffie in the cast hall at GCA

knocking our socks off with some amazing music! It was so stunning to have this mini concert, up close and personal.

No comments: