Well, as 2017 comes to a close and 2018 opens its doors, I'm grateful for a spare minute to reflect on what a wonderful year it's been. There have been too many amazing moments to mention, so I thought I'd throwback to my top three highlights of 2017 (in no particularly order):
1. Performing at the Wigmore Hall twice within a month! The first opportunity was in a Side by Side project with the Prince Consort, who mentored us through the process of preparing for, and then performing on, this illustrious stage. The second time was with Siân Dicker (pictured as we peep round the "Artistes Entrance" with great excitement!) to premiere a new work by Mo Zhao, entitled 'Just Waiting'. Both times I remember standing in the green room downstairs and feeling awestruck by all the portraits and autographs of artists who had performed there in the past. A true honour and dream come true.
2. Attending the Franz Schubert Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria. During the summer, Harriet Burns and I, along with 34 other singers and pianists, participated in five and a half weeks of intense study of the poetry and performance of the German lied. We were tutored by an array of inspiring masterteachers - Roger Vignoles, Andreas Schmidt, Julius Drake, Helmut Deutsch (pictured), Robert Holl, Wolfram Rieger, Birgid Steinberger, and Elly Ameling - all of whom challenged and inspired us. We left with countless new ideas, wonderful new friends, and a greater understanding of the art form, helped largely through our exploration of the landscape of Austria.
3. Touring with the Bromley Boy Singers. This year was BBS's 40th anniversary year, and to help celebrate the milestone we travelled first to Cornwall, and then later in the year to Paris. As a part of the Cornwall International Male Choral Festival, we performed five times over the course of a weekend, including at the gorgeous sea-side Minack Theatre (pictured) - where it was so windy that my lovely colleague Judith had to hold my music open as I played! If only we'd remembered to bring pegs!
Then in October we travelled to Paris, for three concerts at La Madeleine, Disneyland Paris and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Ten-year-old me was probably just as excited as the boys at the thought of performing on the same stage that Mickey Mouse had been on (!), and adult me felt the same level of joy at playing at the two magnificent churches. There was plenty of time to see the city as well, and pictured are some of the older boys before our boat left for a cruise along the Seine.
All in all, it's been a wonderful year and I can't wait to see what adventures 2018 brings!
- K x