The musicians are enjoying their last days under the Italian sun, while I – writing from American Airlines Flight 111 – travel back to the States.
The last week of Chamber Music Campania seems suspended in time, like a photo of a smile or the startling moments after an avalanche. Our days in Lucera were bright and calm and furious, and our expectations rose and fell with the inconsistency of an Italian marching band’s intonation. The Fiati 5 performed two concerts (one in Lucera, the other in Vico del Gargano) with programs that included Italian favorites (e.g., “O mio babbino caro” performed by the inestimable Katie Dukes Walker), nail-bitingly difficult American quintet repertoire (e.g., Elliott Carter’s wind quintet), and three world premieres. Our listeners responded with standing ovations, tearful eyes, and Italianate physical affection (kisses, hugs, rigorous handshakes, the pinching of cheeks). Indeed, one audience member exclaimed that he would paint a picture inspired by Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s new work Oggetti.
Our final roundtable discussion on June 27 enhanced our busy week of concertizing. We examined the increasingly popular trend of teaching courses in music “entrepreneurialism” at conservatories, universities, colleges, and music festivals. The musicians, composers, and I voiced some concerns, mainly, that institutionalized certificate programs in music entrepreneurship rarely endow students with usable skills. We also attempted to define the many dimensions of music entrepreneurship, which might entail an ability to recognize opportunity (Mike, horn) and, no less important, a capacity to generate unique, viable products and services (Jason, composer). We concluded that artists and administrators can, should, and sometimes do occupy the same spaces, an overlap that may provide for healthful musical communities.
I leave the happy frenzy of Chamber Music Campania 2014 with a heavy heart, but also lightness in my step. I anticipate great things for Chamber Music Campania and the Fiati 5, and I look forward to future summers of mozzarella di bufala, pizza al forno, roundtable discussions, lunchtime banter, and the sounds of wind instruments emerging from my grandmother’s farmhouse in Varano – sounds that rustle the leaves of olive branches and disappear into the mountains.
(l'ultimo gelato a Lucera; photo credit: Christina Dioguardi)