100 Days of Practice and other summer fun

This summer has been a whirlwind so far! It's hard to believe it's already been almost two months since the performance of the Beethoven concerto on June 1st. It went incredibly well and we had a great audience turnout. I was able to calm my nerves during the performance and just devote all my energy to communicating what I believed the music to be trying to say. I felt that Jun and I were really on the same wavelength, especially in the second movement. It was a wonderful experience.

At the end of June, I gave a benefit concert at the home of the Wacaser family. They had a house fire a couple years ago and only recently were finally able to move back in after months upon months of dealing with insurance, repairs, and renovations. The benefit was split between me and the volunteer fire department that came to their aid. It was an awesome experience to do a private concert for a cause that so many people cared about, and people were so generous with what they gave!

Last week, we finished up the first half of the summer program with the
New York Opera Conservatory doing Il barbiere di Siviglia. We had an exciting time where the Thursday performance had to be postponed to Sunday due to an electrical fire at the venue that caused the power and air conditioning to go out, but they managed to get it repaired in time for the Friday performance! It was an exciting week. We're now in rehearsals for La Bohéme, with performances coming up in August!

Aside from those events, if you follow my Instagram or my Facebook page, you know I've been doing a project this summer inspired by Hilary Hahn called "100 days of practice." The premise is that you record about a minute of your practicing and post it to social media with a short explanation of what you're doing in your practicing until you've done 100 days of it. It's really inspired me to be more organized with my practice since I basically have to show daily progress! Here are a couple snippets:
All of the pieces I'm currently working on are in preparation for the next installment of Whimsical Birdsong, my Ravel performance project. I'm learning Tombeau de Couperin, the 2nd Violin Sonata, and Shéhérazade by Ravel, alongside a new work by my father, Dan Montez, the Red Sea Trio for piano, clarinet, and violin, as well as the 13th ordre by Couperin himself. I'm very excited about this performance and so grateful to the Taconic Opera for sponsoring and advertising the concert. Mark your calendars for December 7th!

I will also be returning to Mannes this year to finish up my master's degree. With this comes some awesome opportunities afforded to a second-year graduate student, including working as a teaching assistant for the class "Collaborating In and Beyond Music!" I will be teaching my own smaller discussion section as a supplement to the main lecture part of the course. It is an interdisciplinary course primarily focused on music, sociology, and psychology that looks at the ways musicians and people in general collaborate with each other. You can read about the course
here! I'm very excited for this opportunity to teach regularly in a classroom setting.

I'm hoping to pin down even more concerts over the next several months. I have been incredibly inspired by the Piatigorsky Foundation and I'm hoping to continue their mission in areas and venues close to me on top of continuing my work with them. Stay tuned!

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