Upcoming Concert and change of subject…..


Kenneth Woods, cello

Sheila Zilar, piano

SYMPHONY Chamber Series

Pendleton Arts Center

Friday, November 9, 2007


Sergei Prokofiev- Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano

Dmitri Shostakovich- Sonata in D minor for Cello and Piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff- Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano  

Well, this is a bit of a change. No Haydn symphonies?

I’ve written often here about how much I miss playing cello, especially chamber music. Over the last few years I’ve found that the pressures of the conductor’s life mean I rarely get the cello out of the case unless I’ve got a performance coming up, so I try to fit things in where the schedule allows, but then I get these horrible moments when I realize I’ve been resting a bad back for nearly two weeks and have recital in seven days. Yikes!

I was able to start work in earnest on Friday, and have through Tues to get my act together. Then Wednesday is a travel day, probably a washout as it’s a painfully long trip from Cardiff to Pendleton. That means I have just Thursday and Friday to get used to my other cello (how I ended up with two cellos that are so totally unalike is beyond me!) and put things together with Sheila. This isn’t the way it used to be in school when you’d work hours a day all year on a program then coach with your pianist for weeks before the hearing before the concert!

Anyway, it occurred to me to just make this a week of immersion in cello, since it kinda has to be anyway, so I’m putting my scores on the shelf till further notice (well, except for a rehearsal or two). I’ll see if I can make this a cello blog for a week….

Meanwhile, if you’re in Eastern Oregon/Washington, ring the OES office to buy tix 541 276 0320. We’re donating 100% of the ticket sales to player compensation in the orchestra. It’s my way of at least putting my time and effort, and in a sense my money since I’m not paying myself, where my mouth is. It’s pretty easy to raise money for things like new chairs and stands or recorders for convicts, but it’s the toughest thing in the world to get people to give money to actually pay the musicians who make music happen….

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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