maandag 5 september 2016

Quintet Concert

Yesterday we played a quintet concert in Shenzhen's Grand Theatre. There were about 600 people in the audience. 

The "small" hall in the Grand Theatre 
It was a concert organized by our flutist and I'm very happy that she worked so hard to put it all together! It was a very "Chinese" affair to start with..... The dates kept changing, the musicians kept changing but in the end it all worked out. One of the concert dates was particularly terrible as she herself was not available that day, nor was the french horn player as their orchestra was performing out of town somewhere. But as I said, it all turned out well.

Rehearsal shenanigans, testing the mics
The dad of the flutist (her name is Fay) drove us to Shenzhen at 8 AM. We got there a little bit after 10 and we went on stage for our dress rehearsal. In this pic you can see Sihui, our oboe player in the foreground. I'm in the back testing out the mic. After our first piece Fay and I had a mini conversation in Dutch as a comical element in our program. 

After looking at the audience with a I-don't-know-what's-going-on-either-face she switched to English and asked me to introduce the clarinet. I started off in English but then said 啊呀,算了,还是讲中文吧 (Ah, forget about this, lets just speak Chinese). 
The audience really liked this as they love it when foreigners speak Chinese. I told them a bit about the clarinet and then played a chromatic scale ff, then pp, followed by the opening solo of Rhapsody in Blue and a tiny bit of the Mozart Concerto.

Fans :)
We had worked out beforehand who would introduce which piece and their instrument at which moment. Glad to report that this as well worked out very nicely.
Only SiHui and I don't mind speaking in public so we did most of the talking, hahaha. Talking is definitely one of my stronger points! It was a bit scary to do it in Chinese though....... 

We played mostly quintets but also a few quartets (no french horn) and some duets (flute/oboe and clarinet/bassoon).
With the program booklet
A very special occurrence took place during the concert: the flute broke!! One of the springs had come undone so one key didn't open up anymore. We started off a piece and it sounded weird from the start. Fay tried for a bit but then stopped us as it was a serious problem.
SiHui told the audience to take a 10 minute break and we went back stage to fix the flute. 

When we continued we made a joke about how exciting it is to visit a live concert and that you'll never know what will happen. I guess we've all seen strings break before on stage but out of my hundreds of concerts this was the first time that this happened to a flute!

Our program 
We had a lot of fun on stage and the audience was very happy with our performance (so were we).
It was awesome to share the joy of music and I got so many nice comments and texts of people afterwards :)

We drove back to Guangzhou in some pretty awful weather. We still needed to get some food as we were starving after the long drive back. The original plan was to eat something in Shenzhen but we weren't hungry yet and the roads were clear so we just headed back.

We decided on a mall so there was no need to swim outside to get to the food. We went for some lovely Japanese and SiHui drove me home afterwards.

All in all a lovely day and hopefully the beginning of many more concerts like this one :)