It’s Spring Fling!!!! Well, almost…
The not quite two months left of the school year following spring break are the busiest with concerts year after year. The number of of student recitals is through the roof; Paul and Morse Halls can handle up to 4 per day each and additionally students also organize concerts in the Bruno Walter Studio (aka room 309) which is an orchestra rehearsal hall on the third floor.
This is how Juilliard celebrates spring fling: night after night seniors and graduate students play incredibly high quality solo concerts, the programs reflecting their personalities and their progress as artists over the years spent here. While student recitals have a bad reputation for being not quite exciting and pretty repetitive, I find that with growing frequency musicians get extremely creative preparing these programs and making them a piece of art itself.
Last Saturday night I went to the most exciting senior recital I have ever been to presented by Sam Jones, an immensely talented trumpeter from Florida. The eldest composer on Sam's program, Karlheinz Stockhausen, was born less than 90 years ago and every piece was written within the past 50 or so years. This would be an extremely unusual for a recital already, but Sam took it two steps further by first playing a piece from Stockhausen that included an electronic soundtrack and to top that he ended his program with a piece of his own “Archeoptical Illusions,” a title he said he only came up with to have something to put in the program.
The piece was basically a long exploration of sound and texture improvised on trumpet and clarinet doubling bass clarinet with live sound-processing for which Sam wrote the algorithms. Needless to say it was an incredibly refreshing experience to attend a recital with so much imagination and daring programming attached. I hope that you will also have similarly great impressions when attending student recitals during your visits to Juilliard over the next few weeks, which you should absolutely do!
~ d a n