As we launch the new Classic Touch website and recall our many experiences over the last 16 years, I think about the power that chamber music exerts over me and the indescribable poetry and intimacy that draws me and many of my friends to this special genre of music. I began playing violin at the age of ten and switched to viola a few years later. Already in junior high school we were encouraged to play in small groups, and immediately I was hooked.
By high school I played regularly in a string quartet, mostly for my own pleasure but also to share our music with an audience. The photo above shows one of the groups I played in— note the fashionable concert wear! (I'm second from the right). In 1975 I played my first wedding, as half of a viola/cello duo.
Wherever I have lived I’ve joined or formed chamber music groups. While studying for my Masters degree in Houston I met a cancer research doctor, an amazing woman who every week took cello lessons, played in two community orchestras, and hosted two different chamber music gatherings. I was fortunate to have joined them on occasion. Some years later when planning a cross-country road trip, my three main objectives were to visit family, go contra dancing, and to play chamber music with old friends. We had chamber music parties in Houston, Dallas, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and Laramie, Wyoming. What a fun trip that was!.
As long as I have lived away from Southern California, where I grew up, I regularly return to visit family and old friends…and to play chamber music: from string quartets to piano duets to improvising with guitar, viola, cello and a singer. Below is a photo from one such soirée, with an old friend from high school and a new friend I met that day. And for my 50th birthday I could think of nothing more enjoyable than getting my favorite musical friends together for an afternoon of eating, socializing, and chamber music playing.
To me these musical get-togethers are all about sharing: sharing friendships, sharing wonderful music, and interacting with others in this emotional, non-verbal art form. We play primarily for our own pleasure but we’re also pleased when others participate as listeners, to share with us the joy and great music we experience as we play.
And when we perform at weddings we are still friends sharing our passion with each other, with the added benefit of helping to make an important day even more special for the bride, groom, their families and guests. It is an honor and pleasure to share our love of chamber music with our clients, and I’m certain this very special music will always be an important part of my life.