Today, I allowed myself a little education.
First, I sat in at a vocal master class conducted by Phyllis Curtin (interview 2002). Curtin, now age 84 and a TMC alumna herself, is a Tanglewood institution by now. She is a marvellous teacher and does not seem to have slowed down. It was fun listening in and observing. The walls of the little wooden chamber music hall were plastered with her advice:
. . . Tiger Teeth . . .
. . . Inner smile . . .
Play your upside down cello.
Make room for your ELEPHANT.
I didn't have the nerve after the class to ask her whether I could take a photo of her...
The Chamber Music Hall where the master classes were held
Then, I went to a talk by Austrian guest conductor Hans Graf, currently music director of the Houston Symphony. He talked about conducting and guest conducting, and about his love for contemporary music. “One can distinguish good contemporary music from bad by looking at the musicians' faces ... If the music is there, the orchestra is there”.
He also talked about his – obviously rewarding – 1975/76 stint as music director of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, and how, for example, he had to write out the score for Webern's Opus 10 (Five Pieces for Orchestra) for the musicians himself.
The members' tent were the talk was held