I arrived in Pasadena before my luggage did this past weekend, and had a few scary hours facing the prospect of going onstage in my yoga pants to play Ravel. But the airline delivered and I also made it through the first of six different concertos in a row over the next few weeks.
This week as Joyce Yang returns to the New York Philharmonic as soloist in five performances of Manuel de Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” she recalled her first experience with the Orchestra in 2005. “A few months after the Cliburn Silver Medal was given to me, I was summoned to show up at Lincoln Center at 9 AM on Thanksgiving Day to play for Lorin Maazel, the Orchestra’s Music Director at the time…”
As winter turns to spring in New York City, Joyce Yang invites audiences into the lush gardens of Manuel de Falla’s musical imagination. She performs as soloist in five performances of the Spanish composer’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” with the New York Philharmonic, March 30-April 5. “It’s different from your usual piano concerto,” says Joyce. “Even though it’s in three movements, they don’t follow the traditional concerto form. It’s more like three brush strokes – and in the first seconds Falla tells us we’re in a totally different place.”
I sometimes wonder when I play a favorite piece like the Schumann Quintet with different quartets, am I cheating on the other groups? Because you come back and you’re a little changed. In a rehearsal they’ll say, “What are you doing?” And I realize, ooh, right, that’s someone else’s markings.
#1: I want to cook more, drink less, and stop eating fried food in airports. I have an exercise regimen at home and in hotel rooms, but in between I totally fail. Airports are dangerous places! So when I have a choice between nachos and salad, I will try to choose the salad…