Xuefei Yang and more

3/6/2011 Sunday 9:45 pm

It was fabulous having Xuefei Yang here this past weekend!  What an artist, what an intellect, and what energy.  Her husband Neil Muir was with her, and we had a wonderful time getting to know each other as the week progressed.  Neil took these pictures:

Here we are with Catherine Kissel at Fox 7 Morning News on Thursday

Here I am introducing the concert Saturday night. We had over 500 people in the hall - wow!

Fei performing. What a superb artist. She played Bach, Albeniz, Chopin, Regondi, a Chinese work, and more...

Fei received several standing ovations over the course of the evening - and ended up playing two encores!

Last post I mentioned some of the larger events I’ve been involved with.  Mostly performances or lectures on the weekends.  More is coming!  We go to Washington DC this Friday where I’ll judge a youth guitar competition and then do some consulting for a guitar society in Washington DC next Tuesday.  We return the following weekend, the on the 26-27 ACGS has two all-day video shoots for our online training program, and on the evening of the 26th we present our second installment of “Austin Guitar Salon” featuring Janet Grohovac… and on the 27th at 7PM is my book reading and signing at BookPeople!  The following weekend is our Guitars Galore Festival with 9 ensembles and over 100 players joining us all day, and on the same day (April 2nd) David Russell (that’s right, the Grammy-winning supreme guitar-artist!) will be here as well as the finale to our International Concert Series that evening!  Then it’s off to Brownsville the week after (judging and teaching), Sacramento the week after that (performing, lecturing and workshop), and then back to south Texas, Edinberg, on Easter Sunday for a concert Monday.  And so it goes!  True weekends continue to be hard to come by!

But there are a lot of other interesting things going on.  I’ve just finalized the summer series for 2011 (a few weeks ago) and we’re putting together collaborators – especially related to food – that I hope to have in the can this week.  Also, last week, I finalized our international series – including our benefit concert and gala – for 2011-2012.  And there have been a host of fascinating meetings.  Some of my favorites recently are a lunch I had Friday with Cathy Panoff, director of the UT Performing Arts Center (Texas Performing Arts) who invited me and the leadership of Austin’s amazing choral organization Conspirare to lunch for a secret and very cool purpose… to be revealed some other time!  Earlier last week I got a tour and sit-down with Adam Wilson who directs the Griffin School in Austin as the result of an invitation from their board president Clay Levit (also the owner of Fiddler’s Green Music Shop here in Austin).  Griffin School has a very neat model with a strong arts focus in their curriculum.  Before that I had a marvelous meeting with AISD’s director of fine arts Greg Goodman where we talked through some ideas for AISD to partner with us to enrich our huge plans for our opening night of our 11-12 International Series at the new ACL Moody Theater with some very cool student participation.  We also had our kick-off meeting with FG-Squared to begin our discover/define process for building our online education training program (our single biggest project of 2011) – the same day I we had lunch with the leadership of Austin Shakespeare to explore possible collaboration ideas, along with a conference call with the Guitar Foundation of America to select artists for the 2012 convention that will take place in South Carolina.

So it continues to be a challenging and interesting and stimulating existence.  I’m particularly excited about my new book entering into distribution (still waiting), the book signing locally, the travel, and the planning for all of our big upcoming events.  I also think we’re poised to do something of lasting significance with out online training program, and I can’t wait to launch it!  Just gotta do tons, and tons of work – and raise loads more money – between now and then!

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