Date of Submission
After four years of violin lessons, chamber music rehearsals, orchestra concerts, opera workshop, chorus, and conducting, theory, and music history classes, I say with confidence that I have grown immensely under the careful supervision of Bard’s Music Department. I have spent this year under the fantastic guidance of Erica Kiesewetter, Luis Garcia-Renart, Peter Laki, James Bagwell, Teresa Cheung, Blair McMillan and Marka Gustavsson, studying grand works of music.
It was my first lesson of the year, and Erica asked me to name my favorite piece. I replied: the Beethoven Violin Concerto. She went on to tell me that I should play it; and despite my hesitancies, I did. In the fall concert, the works I selected taught me the power of violin playing. My sound was never enough, there could never be too much music expressed, and dynamics could never have too much contrast. The spring’s concert, in contrast, taught me the possibilities of melancholy on the violin and the power of a piano dynamic marking. I explored details of my sound in the Tchaikovsky, learning never to let go of a phrase. And when leading the Bard College Orchestra in Dvorak’s New World Symphony, there could never be enough concentration or sound. I explored the highs and lows of violin works this year, playing pieces both large and small; however despite differences in difficulty and technique, every piece seems to have a similar story: give all of yourself to the music and do not hesitate for a moment.
Although I do not yet know where music will take me, Bard has – by exposing me to new teachers, composers, styles, techniques, and conductors – widened my musical horizons in ways that I will never forget.
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Shiman, Mary Abigail, "Study and Performance of Violin Works by Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky" (2011). Senior Projects Spring 2011. 156.