I recently passed the 150-day mark after leaving Australia last, and it’s amazing to think of all that has happened since then. Since I arrived in Berlin, I’ve been taking an intensive German course where I’ve met several great new friends, finding a place to live, hearing some wonderful concerts, babysitting, and of course spending a lot of time working with William Coleman, the violist with whom I came here to study. His musical insight, philosophy and viola-playing are profoundly inspiring to me.
I’ve also been lucky to have the chance to play a few times, with Ooi in our new viola duo Clair-Obscur, and a couple of weeks ago with the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin as the guest principal viola. It was a joy to meet so many great people, and to return to the Kammermusiksaal at the Berlin Philharmonie, which is a beautiful place to play. The program was full of string orchestra gems, including Michael Tippett’s Fantasia on a theme of Corelli and the Variations on Sellenger’s Round, composed by Arthur Oldham, Michael Tippett, Lennox Berkeley, Benjamin Britten, Humphrey Searle, and William Walton. Last Friday I played a Bach Prelude in a living room concert initiated by members of a group on Meetup.com – a great way of meeting other musicians and music enthusiasts.
Coming up, I have a couple of gigs with singer/songwriter Lione, after working together to develop some viola lines for her music. I’ll be playing in another chamber orchestra, this time in a big barn outside the centre of Berlin, and continuing to prepare for a number of performances later in the year, including those of my ANAM Fellowship in August and September – stay tuned for the announcement of the details!