Saturday, June 5, 2010

La Jolla concert with Nick

It was not a surprise to hear the response from the audience, that none had ever heard any kind of music played by just an violinist and an accordionist.
Nick and I seemingly have given these people quite a memorable evening, most of them commenting on the beautiful sounds they got from the 2 instruments combined.
We played a varied program, including a rendition of a french popular song La Vie en Rose,
which my genius accordionist friend Nick did, alone, at the very beginning of the concert, zag waying into a russian folk song...(that was not our original plan on the program, but the lady who invited/hired us requested for a french song/russian folk song)
We performed: Scheherashade by Rimsky Korsakov/Kreisler
Spanish Dance by De Falla/Kreisler
Clair de Lune by Debussy (for vln and accordion)
Malaguena for accordion solo
Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu (piano solo)
Indo Serene by Nick Ariondo (for violin, piano and accordion)
It Ain't Necessarily So by Gershwin-Heifetz
Hora Staccato by Dinicu/Heifetz
The audience was of the older generation. I was not sure how they would like our rendition of the Indo Serene, which Nick had written for me, where I switched from piano to violin back and forth. To my greatest surprise, they were so taken and moved by it.
In my whole life, I have discovered that I have received the greatest artistic rewards/satisfaction, making music with my accordionist friend, who is the best collaborator I have ever made music with.
And believe me, I have made music with many, in many different chamber music settings, during my life time.
I feel so blessed, and fortunate that I often get inspired during a performance before an audience (does not matter the size), and change my ways of interpretation of the musical piece of that moment. And I never worry whether my accordionist partner will be surprised or will follow. Because, he always listens, and is always right there with me musically.
I got such a compliment from some one from the audience, when he commented that he liked my rendition of the Chopin, much better than that of Rubenstein..Wow?
(I suppose, I could ask myself, "does he know what he is talking about?)
I really believe that we have given these people an evening of music they will not forget.

What a blessing!

Friday, June 4, 2010

JH's Malibu Road # 2

I have not thought about the name of the couple who bought the JH Malibu house in 1983, before JH passed away in 1987.
Now, 27 years later in 2010, a film producer from New York, Peter Rosen had been given this project to make a documentary film about Jascha Heifetz , by the oldest daughter of Richard Colburn (Colburn School of Performing Arts in LA), Carol Colburn.
Peter Rosen read my book, and was told that I might be able to help with the project.
One of the assignments I was given by Peter, was to find out if there still stands the flag pole out on the beach side of the JH Malibu house on Malibu Road #2.
For security reasons, many of the public breeze ways leading out to the beach which used to be accessible on foot from the street, are now closed. There was no way for me to find out about the flag pole, unless I walk on the beach starting from the beach off Pacific Coast Hwy, which was not impossible.
One day, in March 2010, when Peter Rosen was in LA, interviewing some people, from JH's past, one of whom was Arthur Vered, a JH biographer from England, I suggested to drive out to Malibu with Peter and Arthur, so that I could show Peter where the JH Malibu house was located.
The address of that same JH house now has 5 numbers. And it is not easy to find it again, for it has changed its facade; the white gate on the street-side taken away.
Anyway, when we arrived on the location, I noticed 2 cars parked in its driveway.
That means that there were people inside....possibly.
Peter Rosen's LA assistant Katharina, was not able to find out through regular channels about who now owns this house. Home owners in California, especially in the Malibu area, tend to
change hands often.
I decided to ring the door bell, located inside of the driveway, attached to an intercom system.
To my greatest surprise, a woman's voice came on the intercom, and asked who it was.
Suddenly, I felt speechless, having not thought about the name of the couple who bought the house directly from JH, but somehow under duress, JH's spirits must have enlightened me, and the name came to the tip of my tongue, and answered her question with " I used to spend a lot of time here in this house many years ago with Jascha Heifetz"
The woman's response: "Oh my gosh", whom would you like to speak to?"
I answered:" Mrs. Specht"
The woman:"Speaking, please come in" as the door buzzed open.
Peter, and Arthur followed me as we all entered through a breezeway (just the same as it was before), and immediately could see the flag pole from a distance, to my great relief.
That moment was the beginning of my friendship with this Mrs. Margery Specht, a loving, generous kind lady, who has since invited me many times to make some music together.
Margery Specht is a pianist.
Peter was given the permission out of the kindness and generosity of the Specht couple, to come back in the month of April, and spend an afternoon, till sunset, so that Peter can also film the sunset on the beach, when JH liked to sit for hours on the beach in silence.
I think that this was sort of a miracle in my life, it was meant to be.
And JH must have approved of it.
It was a blessing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

musical inspirations

I woke up this morning, thinking about how I would begin to fill in these daily weekly posts on my blog. And the thought of it begins to give me some inspirations as to why I want to share with my friends and family, the adventures and enrichments of my life's journey, which began... to my great surprise, when I started to give and share more of my talents without expecting anything in return.
For years,.... having worked with JH (Jascha Heifetz), studied with him, collaborated with him on completing many of this transcriptions, I was told that I should never want to play my musical instruments in front of people, unless I was either asked or was hired to perform.
But,.... I had this life and death experience, in 2005, which I survived and was given another chance at life. Only then, I began to think differently, with encouragements from my boyfriend of 10 years, Matthew, who often told me that God has given me those talents, in order for me to share them with others ....freely!
I began to volunteer at Cedars Sinai Hospital, as a music for healing volunteer, where I can come at anytime, and play in private in the patients'rooms. (Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA has a special volunteer program, where each volunteer must go for training first).
I received so much more rewards, gratifications doing this sort of things, than I feel that I have given. Anyway, the people I met have been incredible, and enriching.
I feel I have been blessed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

a surprise visit

An old friend, Toni Schoen from Berlin, paid me a surprise visit yesterday, during a rehearsal with Nick Ariondo, my genius accordionist friend, with whom I will perform in concert in La Jolla on June 4th, at the White Sands Residence, home of Natasha Josefowich, the daughter of Jascha Heifetz' oldest friend, Tamara Chapro

Heifetz Documentary film project

This project has given me an opportunity to re-connect with so many people
from my past.
Due to public demand, I plan to continue my story