After performing over fifty concerts since the new year, which you can read about here at the Gwendolyn Masin press section, I'm very inspired, and excited about the season that is now upon us — summer! The festivals that go along with it, as well as a retreat from nonstop touring while I enter the pre-production phase of the year.
What follows is a roundup of the adventures I’ve had since January and notes on what to expect once autumn arrives.
Thank you for your interest and support. I wish you wonderful summer days!
A unique happening: Simon Bucher and I occupied the shop window of Loeb in Berne for three days of concert performances. The mini concerts were live-streamed on my website and those of our hosts and co-sponsors. A short film was also made, which you can view here.
This initiative was free to the public and was done in an effort to follow through on one of my main goals as a musician: to bring music to all people in new, inviting and seemingly effortless ways.
These mini concerts actualised a sincere wish of mine — to make a space and opportunity for the public not to be confronted, but to listen and linger. An intergenerational, lived experience was shared amongst the performers, collaborators, and the audience during the course of these three days.
Audience members were able to experience the concerts in three ways: attending inside the shop window, listening via headphones outside, or watching the live-stream that was available on company websites and social media.
Anna-Sofia Bonino, who has studied with me since 2017, joined us in performance on Saturday morning for the "grande finale", a culmination of the completed nine-concert series. Together with other students of mine, we performed Shostakovich's Five Pieces. Baile flamenco dancer Alicia López also joined Simon and I for works by de Falla.
Concert, radio, and TV performances chased one another at the start of the year. I made three journeys back and forth to the Netherlands in the space of less than ten days and totaled 21 concerts just in January. I landed headlong into tours playing in some beautiful halls with my ORIGIN ensemble through the Netherlands and Italy; gave recital performances with Simon Bucher in Switzerland and Hungary; played interpretations of Bernstein's "West Side Story" with the Melisma Saxophone Quartet; had appearances in Ireland and side-stepped into the world of rock music by way of my arrangement of "Züri West" songs in collaboration with chansonnier Oli Kehrli. The latter were performed in, arguably, the most disputed space in Berne (and the most unlikely place to find classical music): its Reitschule.
We worked hard to get here, and I could not be happier for the members of my ensemble—in most cases, former students of mine—whose commitment, passion and energy inspire me continuously. Seen here: Patrick Moriarty (cello), Martin Moriarty (viola), Ernst Jan Vos (violin). Also present here: Priyanka Ravanelli (violin), Abigail McDonagh (violin).
Celebrating its eleventh edition, this year's GAIA Music Festival exceeded expectations with eight concerts, twenty-one artists, Swiss and world premieres of works by Dobrinka Tabakova and Thomas Fortmann, and an audience of over a thousand members. The GAIA community continues to grow, something that makes my heart beat with intense happiness and child-like wonder. Join us in May 2020 when we trace a path through the legacy of Beethoven with some of the most exciting artists we have hosted to date.
Full steam ahead! I am very excited to have a hand in shaping music-making and music education and excellence in Ireland. The Irish are a people who have, in turn, shaped how I feel, think and aspire to be. There is hardly a place I relish returning home to more.
Press Release, National Concert Hall of Ireland:
"We are delighted to announce our inaugural International Master Course, led by Artistic Directors Gwendolyn Masin (violin) and Finghin Collins (piano), from 6th to 11th August 2019.
Over six days, 32 Irish and international participants will have the opportunity to enjoy solo and chamber music coaching from our Artistic Directors together with Kirill Troussov (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Louise Hopkins (cello)."
With some trepidation and a lot of joy, I am honoured to have been proferred the title of curator and performer of my own series in Berne's premiere venue, its Casino. This season, the famed concert building will reopen its doors after a number of years of renovation. As of October, I will introduce four concerts in 2019/2020 that seek to build a bridge between classical music and other genres and styles of music. The first of these installments will be on 26 October at 20:00 and see an intensive collaboration with my invited guests: Andreas Schärrer (vocals), Kalle Kalima (electric guitar), Wolfgang Zwiauer (electric bass), Etienne Abelin (violin) and an ensemble I have put together of some of my admired friends and colleagues in the world of strings. I hope to welcome you there!