Favorite Fall 2009 Concerts – Teresa’s Musical Musings
December 29, 2009

As the year draws to a close, I finally have time to reflect upon a few of my favorite concert experiences from Fall 2009. Five of my concerts in the continental U.S. were especially fun and fulfilling. I am grateful to exceptional hosts and presenters at these locations for maximizing these experiences for their communities and for me. As a classical artist, I greatly appreciate the love, commitment and dedication some still make to classical music in this country. Looking back, it is not only the privilege of sharing the world’s great music or the honor of receiving the standing ovations. It is also the joy of greeting audiences and music lovers afterward, working with students in Master Classes, and witnessing the magnificent beauty and diversity of this great country.

In September, I enjoyed a vibrant Artist Residency at one of America’s traditionally black colleges, Rust College in Holly Springs, MS. In addition to the formal public concert on their Lyceum Series, I gave a live radio interview the next day followed by classroom visits with question and answer sessions. After a fabulous lunch (soul food!) with the College’s faculty members and administrators, I taped a television interview for broadcast throughout the South. I hope that both the radio and TV interviews will be made available on my website. I was blessed by my time at this exceptional College. I especially enjoyed this multi-faceted Artist Residency because I am an avid reader of Jan Caron’s Mitford Series, including her latest – Home to Holly Springs.

The first week in October brought the opportunity to perform in one of my favorite regions of the continental U.S. – the Oregon Coast. The venue was the 25th Season of the Friends of Music Series. When my hosts met me at the airport, they offered me a brief detour to see the coastal redwoods. I agreed in a heartbeat. These magnificent ancient trees represent nature’s primordial cathedral for me and I never miss the privilege of standing in their shade. My hotel room overlooked the Pacific where I was further inspired by glorious sunsets. I learned that the area produces 95% of the world’s Easter lilies. It is also on the annual route for the great humpback whales as they make their pilgrimage along the coast. The post-concert reception at the ocean side home of a board member featured one of my favorite cuisines – Indian! On the way back to the airport, a black bear sauntered out of the woods to say goodbye. I love the Pacific Northwest!

October 18 found me in America’s heartland for a performance on the Nielsen Concert Series in Des Moines’ intimate Viking Theatre. The Des Moines Register called it “something you can’t miss this weekend.” As a Steinway Artist, I am grateful to Rieman Music House for providing the concert Steinway D for this recital. In fact, I thank so many in the Steinway family of dealers who provide instruments for me when needed at various locations. I also appreciate the gifted piano technicians who prepare the pianos at each location. Whenever I have the opportunity to meet them, I am impressed with their desire to make every piano the best that it can be for a performance. My brother and sister-in-law were able to attend this recital. Afterwards, they took me out for a fabulous dinner at one of the capital’s premiere restaurants. From the Oysters Rockefeller to the crème brulée, we had a wonderful time catching up on our busy lives. 

In early November, I flew to Tampa for an Artist Residency in Florida honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Festival of Fine Arts. The concert was held at Branscomb Memorial Auditorium in Lakeland, FL. I was a guest in a magnificent historic hotel where my suite overlooked a beautiful lake with swans, egrets, herons and a waterfall. The concert was a wonderful experience and the next day, I enjoyed teaching a Master Class for gifted students from the area. The Master Class was held at Florida Southern College, and the experience gave me the opportunity to appreciate first hand the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright who designed many of the campus buildings and walkways.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I returned to the Midwest for a performance on Omaha’s Crescendo Concert Series. This outstanding series, celebrating its 10th Season, is held in the beautiful and historic Dundee section of the city not far from the home of one of Omaha’s most prominent citizens Warren Buffet. Dundee Presbyterian Church hosts the series in its elegant sanctuary that seats almost 1000 people. A few days before the concert, tickets were completely gone. An article in the Omaha World Herald noted: “From Hungary with love, Teresa Walters will play some of her favorite Liszt knucklebusters at tonight’s recital.” It was a joy for me to witness Omaha’s thriving arts scene. I stayed in the chic Old Market District with its diverse restaurants and shops. A special blessing for me was having my parents present in the audience.

December brought a traditional favorite in the form of my annual Christmas Eve Celeste Recital in the New York area. On Christmas Day, my husband and I flew to Denver for Christmas in the Colorado Rockies. We are now high above the Pacific en route to Honolulu where we walk on Hawaii’s magnificent beaches and welcome the New Year from Oahu’s North Shore.

I wish for all of my colleagues, sponsors, presenters and readers a blessed 2010 filled with peace, joy, and the world’s great music.

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