Bullet train from Taichung to Taipei
I played my concert last night at the Tunghai University in Taichung. I had a marvelous time listening to all the students, sharing with them and exchanging smiles, bows and salutations. The Taiwanese people have been so generous, warm and kind with me. They are such hard working and talented people. Above all Evelyn Chien blew me away with her numerous creative talents. She accompanied me on piano. In addition, she is a flutist, composer, and artist extraodinaire. Her latest album Andante Orange is beautiful! And Amber touched me with her sweet warmth and beautiful soul. I feel so thankful that so many wonderful students showed up for the Masterclass in Taipei hosted by the KHS ProShop and Altus Flutes and expertly translated by the wonderful Taiwanese flutist Yi Hui Lin. Many thanks to Mark Dannenbring who hosted my stay at the Tunghai University. Thanks to Nancy Huang who made it to both of my events: the Masterclass in Taiepei and the Recital in Taichung. And thank you to Auriana Shih playing so beautifully during the masterclass at the Tunghai University as well as for driving me to the station on my last day in Taiwan. It’s been such a terrific week of learning, sharing and music making…. I am so grateful to be sharing my music with the world.
After Flutopia Flute Festival in Manila
I’m writing now from the plane from Manila to San Francisco. What an amazing tour this has been. First, I was blown over by Taiwan, it’s people, it’s great talents. Now I’m left speechless over by Manila! First and foremost, I have to thank Marie Poblete for her tireless dedication to producing and promoting the Flutopia Festival. She has worked countless hours planning every detail making sure that the event went smoothly. I enjoyed seeing old friends like Lyndie & David Leviston from Australia of (Flutes and Flutists and the Australian Flute Festival) and Kalaya Phongsathorn from Thailand (Baanflute and Thailand Flute Masterclasses) and meeting new ones like Nikki Dionisio and Leonila Bondoy. I arrived in Manila and was introduced to my magnificent hotel, the Diamond Hotel which over looked the ocean. I felt like I was on Miami Beach as the color of the water is the same! The morning breakfast buffets were spectacular. Since breakfast time in Manila was dinner San Francisco time, my stomach really appreciated being able to choose from tasty Indian, Chinese, Filipino and American menus in the morning.
On my first day, I had an all day rehearsal first with Marie Poblete (Founder and Director of Flutopia and Principal 2nd Flute in the Philippines Symphony Orchestra) & pianist, Ruth Livioco, as we were playing Gary Schocker”s Three Dances for 2 flutes and piano. Then I had a rehearsal with the fantastic pianist Dr. Raul Sunico and the wonderful guitarist, Ruben Reyes followed by a rehearsal with the Flutopia Orchestra. I love days when I can spend the day rehearsing. I was in heaven.
The next day was the first of 3 days of the FLUTOPIA Flute Festival. I kicked off the event with a morning Meditation for Performers where I offer tips and tools for overcoming stage fright. This was the same morning that I heard John Brian Feliciano during the Rising Stars Morning Concert. He is a phenomenal talent and he’s only 11 years old! If you haven’t already heard him through my Facebook page, I encourage you to do so. He is quite remarkable!! There were several very talented young Filipino flutists including the Gary & April Silangcruz Family and their musical children: Jean Galway, James Pierre, Josh Rampal, Juliana Paula, all named after the famous flutists, Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway and Paula Robison! I was also impressed by Franz Feliciano who performed his Bach A minor Partita…. memorized.
On Day 2 & 3 of FLUTOPIA “Flute Revelries” Festival 2014 I heard some of the wonderful young adults during my masterclass. In particular, John Tanjusay Armenta blew me away with his Chant de Linos by Jolivet, with his complete technical mastery, beautiful sound and musicality. The Gala concert is where I performed with Dr. Raul Sunico, Ruben Reyes, Hercules Santiago, and the Flutopia Flute Orchestra. It was a tremendous success. Thank you Manila for giving me some Rock Star moments as the Recital Hall lobby was filled with fans seeking autographs and photos of me. Thank you everyone from the CCP who helped bring me as your Guest Artist. Thank you for Ching Danseco for taking such good care of me backstage and with running the stage crew during the events, rehearsals and the concerts. I partied with some of the girls after the concert at my hotel. We barely slept, but we had a great time. Thank you to all who contributed to the magic that is FLUTOPIA Flute Revelries 2014.