A big year is behind us, and a bigger one upon us!

We brought our audiences to fits of laughter. We enchanted them with stories by candlelight. We expressed to them the genius of today’s greatest musical minds. We terrified them. We brought them together to make music during the most joyous time of the year.

Two world premiers, a U.S. premier, an East Coast premier, three guest performers, an illustrious guest composer, a dead illustrious guest composer (peddling cereal…), a skeleton, a Christmas tree, a lion jumping through a flaming hoop, lots of hard work, generous help, wonderfully dedicated audiences, and a sorely neglected blog later, we transition from our 2014 series to that of 2015!

So… how do we top all of that?

We’ll let our music do the talking. Dates are now set for our next three pairs of concerts, the first of which is coming up in only a matter of weeks! On March 27th and 28th we present an entire concert of my original music featuring my sister, flutist Carolyn Giardini, as our guest. The repertoire, spanning nearly ten years is quite varied in style and affect. Featured is a brand new suite from my 2014 opera, Azaio, based on the libretto of Karen Saillant, director of the International Opera Theater. Kaitlyn will be both singing major arias from the opera and dancing to the instrumental music, as an incidental dancer’s role is part of the original production.

European Elements GraphicThe remainder of our year will be dedicated to a four-part series entitled, Elemental/National, featuring the music of four, iconic European countries, Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, metaphorically paired respectively with the four Classical elements, Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. In other words, here come the heavy hitters! For example, from Italy, Paganini, Rossini, and Respighi; from France, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, and Poulenc; from Germany, Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms; and from Spain, Albéniz, Falla, and Rodrigo. Furthermore, we feel that the music selected best represents each concert’s respective, metaphorical element. And, as usual, we have many surprises in store.

And speaking of surprises, wait for a big update about this October.

We greatly look forward to seeing you this year!


A “Lightbulb Moment”

Lightbulb MomentTwo years ago, David and I were sitting on the patio in front of his house.  It was one of the last warm days in October, so we chose to talk outside for a while in the bright afternoon sunlight.  For me, this October afternoon was vastly different from those of the past:  I had just completed my undergraduate degree, gotten engaged, and was taking on a “real world” job.  In one summer, every defining detail of my life had been flipped upside down, inverted, scrambled, and discombobulated.  It was extremely scary, but also exciting.

This was the nature of my conversation with David that afternoon.  Typical of any young couple about to start their lives together, we were enthusiastically discussing the endless possibilities of the future:  graduate school aspirations, our upcoming wedding, living together.  Somehow, we got onto the topic of creating a concert series in which we would perform together, a notion that quickly gained a lot of interest from us both.  We would spend the next hour and a half eagerly discussing repertoire choices, how we might theme the concerts, and where we could possibly perform.  It was a true “lightbulb moment,” but it was as fleeting as the setting sun behind us.  As dusk settled in and the air grew cold and dark, our concert series once again seemed far away.  And there it would stay for the next year and a half.

Our plan for the future had not panned out exactly as we had hoped.  Even though I had been accepted into both vocal performance programs for which I had auditioned, I could not afford tuition.  I could not take out additional loans, because I was still paying off the bills from my undergraduate degree.  I felt discouraged.  Depressed.  Angry.  Bitter.  Resentful.

It wasn’t until David, resilient as always, asked, “Why can’t we continue to perform, even if we’re not in graduate/doctoral school?” that I was distracted enough from my bitterness to realize that I didn’t have an answer.  And so, once again we began to brainstorm.  Brainstorming turned into planning.  Planning turned into action.  We approached Jodie to be the third member of our performing group, picked concert dates and repertoire, found a name for our trio, and began work on a website.  illumine was becoming a reality, and our “lightbulb moment” was once again shining.  Although this time, not even doubt, uncertainty, or other plans could put it out.

And so, by now I am assuming that you have had a chance to explore our website.  It is here, on this blog page that we are going to disclose our thoughts, desires, tips, and other information.  We will also be using this page to answer any questions that we receive at our concerts and events.  You may also submit questions for us via e-mail.  Don’t be shy; as you can see, we certainly aren’t.

We can’t wait to see you at our concerts.