This past Monday, I had the pleasure of working with a talented group of young composers at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki. These young composers are current students of Dimitris Maronidis, Costas Tsougras, Kostas Siembis and Leontios Hadjileontiadis. I gave a demonstration of many extended techniques, shared some scores and talked about the performer's experience with learning new music. We then had a lovely discussion and I answered questions about the possibilities and even stumbled across a cool new sound in the workshop!
Thank you to the Fulbright Greece program for supporting my teaching and research as a 2013-14 Fulbright Scholar.
Each student wrote a miniature for me, the pieces are lovely! They are so diverse and musical! I purposely did not practice the pieces, but instead sight-read each piece so they could have a glimpse into my working style and my experience (and struggle) with the unpacking and untangling of a new composition. I gave them some advice on how to make the pieces more "user friendly", having to do with readability issues and some solutions to the few line-in-the-sand limitations that I observed. The students will then send me their 2.0 versions; I encouraged them not to change the notes just because I made a mistake in sight-reading. I believe it is important to continue to push the limits of what is (im)possible and challenge the performer.
On June 16th at 9:00 pm at the State Conservatory, I will present a concert of the student's works. I am honored to give a priemere concert of so many fine works and humbled and grateful to have these young composers write for me. This is my last concert before returning home from Thessaloniki, and I couldn't ask for a better close to my Fulbright experience. To the student composers, thank you and I will see you in June!
flutist, writer, traveler, teacher