Friday, June 20, 2008

Esther Kim is about to get the Vermont treatment...

Esther Kim made her first television appearance at the age of seven on the popular Fox Network television drama, Party of Five. Her first solo appearance with orchestra was at the age of eight performing the Mozart Violin Concerto. One year later, she performed Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 with the Claremont Symphony Orchestra. Shortly after, she performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on an international television broadcast. At the age of ten, she attended the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay and Naoko Tanaka. After Delay’s passing, she continued her studies with Hyo Kang. At 14 years old, she entered the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria to study with Michael Frischenschlager. Esther is currently studying with Jaime Laredo at the Indiana University School of Music. And now she's coming to solo with the Vermont Symphony on the TD Banknorth Summer Festival Tour. Read on for her answers to the five questions we've been asking musicians all season.

VSO: As a musician, you probably find yourself on the road a lot. What item(s) can't you live without on this tour (besides your instrument and concert dress, of course!)?
EK: When I'm on the road I always make sure I have my Ipod, a book I'm reading (I'm currently reading "Kreutzer Sonata" by Tolstoy—it’s interesting because it is connected to the Janacek String Quartet No. 1 which is one of my favorite pieces!), and if I can, I usually like to bring my two dogs, Dukie and Duchess (although lately it's been a little difficult bringing Dukie since he's gotten so big!).

VSO: Do you have a pre-performance ritual? How do you deal with nerves?
EK: I don't really do anything different on performance days--usually I just treat it like an ordinary day. In fact, practicing a lot before the concert really helps me calms my nerves. Oh, and I like to eat a banana before I play!

VSO: If you could be Maestro for a day, what would you program?
EK: If I were a Maestro for a day, I think my program would be Brahms Symphony No. 2, Shostokovich 5, "Transfigured Night" by Arnold Schoenberg, and Mozart Symphony No. 40 in K. 550. (That would be quite a long concert!)

VSO: If you weren't a musician, what would you be doing?
EK: This one is a tough question!! Well, I guess If I wasn't a musician, I would be interested in either having my own radio show (like Garrison Keillor) or be a writer for a travel magazine (or a tv show host for a travel channel). I always thought it would be so much fun to be able to travel all around the world and just be able to write about it!

VSO: What's your favorite aspect of Vermont? If you haven't ever been here, what are you looking forward to?
EK: I haven't been to Vermont before, but everyone tells me how beautiful it is. I know that there are supposed to be a lot of pretty lakes and lots of greenery! I'm really looking forward!
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It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Love is in the air when the Vermont Symphony Orchestra travels around Vermont again this summer bringing its popular TD Banknorth Summer Festival Tour to towns across the state. From Thursday, June 26 through Sunday, July 6, the state’s premiere orchestra performs “From Vermont with Love” in beautiful mountain and lakeside settings, welcoming pre-concert picnicking, and concluding each performance with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and celebratory fireworks.

From “boy meets girl” in Oklahoma to hot-blooded Carmen to the comic mismatchings of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love conquers all in a program devoted to affairs of the heart. Principal guest conductor Anthony Princiotti leads the orchestra, with soloist Esther Kim, violin. The music of love includes Tchaikovsky’s waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Smetana’s dances from The Bartered Bride, Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy on Tunes by Bizet, and the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah by Saint-SaĆ«ns, among other favorites in a concert for romance.

The annual outdoor festival of classics and pops connects to communities, bringing the VSO to special settings and historic buildings around the state. Audiences enjoy the history of Hildene Meadowlands, the lakeside elegance of Shelburne Farms, the ridgeline sunset from the Trapp Family Lodge meadow, and other treasured Vermont venues.

The complete list of dates and venues includes:

Thursday, June 26 - Middlebury College, Middlebury
Friday, June 27 - Jackson Gore Inn, Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow
Saturday, June 28 – Lincoln Peak at Sugarbush Resort, Warren
Sunday, June 29 - Mountain Top Inn, Chittenden
Monday, June 30 - Quechee Polo Grounds, Quechee
Wednesday, July 2 - Hildene Meadowlands, Manchester
Thursday, July 3 - Grafton Ponds, Grafton
Friday, July 4 - Shelburne Farms, Shelburne
Saturday, July 5 - Three Stallion Inn, Randolph
Sunday, July 6 - Trapp Concert Meadow, Stowe

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in all venues. Tickets range from $25-32 for adults; free to $16 for children. In some locations an AARP discount is also available. All sites are wheelchair accessible. Gates open for picnicking at 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. depending on location.
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