July 7, 2009

"What I did on my summer vacation..."

Ever wonder what your favorite musicians do during the summer while PBO is on hiatus? Keep reading...

In June, PBO musicians William Skeen (pictured left, photo from the Orange County Register), Elizabeth Blumenstock, John Thiessen, Ondine Young, Jolianne von Einem and Rob Diggins performed at the Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival in Southern California. Read more about the festival here, here and here.

While in SoCal, spouses Skeen and Young performed with Musica Angelica and Bach Collegium San Diego, as well as caught a few beaches, parks, and museums with their children, Talia, 6, and Liam, 3 (pictured below riding a carousel in San Diego). They are now traveling up the coast to Monterey for the Carmel Bach Festival, then onwards to Whidbey Island Music Festival, and back to the Bay Area in August to prepare for PBO’s concerts, as well as a San Francisco Early Music Society series with their baroque ensemble La Monica.

This month, Blumenstock (pictured left at the Corona del Mar festival) will teach at PBO cellist Phoebe Carrai’s International Baroque Institute at Longy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In August, she will sneak a week of vacation before traveling to Drottningholm, Sweden, and Edinburgh, Scotland, to perform with the Internationale Händel-Festspiel Göttingen Orchestra, conducted by none other Nic McGegan. "It will be a blast to see the old Baroque theater and props in Drottningholm!" wrote Blumenstock in an email.

von Einem and her partner Diggins are busily organizing a new ensemble called Omnia Musica in preparations for a South East Asia tour in the spring of 2011. In conjunction with the Portland-based nonprofit FOLKWAYS INSTITUTE the ensemble will perform a mixed program of Baroque and Classical music and South Eastern Appalachian Mountain and Mississippi Delta music in Bhutan, Kathmandu, Kolkatta, New Delhi and Chennai.

In June, violinist and PBO staffer David Wilson (pictured left, photo by Lars Johannesson) traveled to Washington, DC to participate in a 5-day residency at the Smithsonian Institution with Lux Musica. The Santa Cruz-based ensemble collaborated with two musicians from Turkey, Neva Özgen, kemençe, and Murat Aydemir, tambur, to perform the music of Dimitrie Cantemir, who served both the Ottoman sultan and the Russian tsar at the turn of the 18th century. On the same trip, Wilson performed music of Henry Purcell and his contemporaries with Ensemble Vermillian at the Boston Early Music Festival.

Violist Maria Caswell lives in rural Sonoma County, so, during the summer, she spends most of her time outdoors, gardening and tending to animals. In the fall, the musicians will be plying her for jellies and jams (she cans applesauce, pears, peaches, nectarines, figs and any other fruit she can get her hands on). Her family recently vacationed at a cabin on Odell Lake in Oregon, spending most of the time boating (her daughter, Alena, is pictured below piloting the boat).

Have you gotten away this summer? Started a new project (musical or otherwise)? Let us know.

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