I spent two weeks in July – from July 16-28, 2013 in Arcidosso, Tuscany at an international music festival called “Interharmony”. I had an amazing time, both professionally and personally. I am currently a DMA in piano performance at The University of Utah School of Music in my 2nd year, and
I attended the festival for more international performing experience. The University of Utah gave me a scholarship and I was so happy about that !
I went along with my piano professor, Dr. Vedrana Subotic as well as a few other pianists and some string players from my school. I am originally from Europe, but I haven't visited it for over six years, so this was an amazing experience for me. The hotel that we stayed at was located in the medieval town of Arcidosso, in Tuscany. Everyone knows that Tuscany is one of the most beautiful parts of the world – with its nature, sunflower fields, hay stacks;), so many different colors of grass and fields, and the Mediterranean sea just one hour from where we were staying. The hotel where we stayed was right in the middle of all the beauties of nature, with a swimming pool, spa, and horseback-riding just next door! It was like a resort, and perfect place to relax and enjoy beautiful music – both hearing wise, and creating – wise! Some of the piano practice rooms were located in the hotel, and some in the downtown of Arcidosso. Our festival consisted of 4-5 piano lessons as well as 4-5 chamber music coaching where I got to play with a clarinetist from Michigan State University and a violinist from China! - so international! Along with the coaching, I had three performances – one of a solo piece that I played, the first movement of Beethoven op.111 – his last sonata, which went successfully. I also had two performances with my trio, which also went great. The concerts from the festival were being held every night, in churches in Arcidosso, by the faculty members as well as students, where the locals as well as the festival participants would attend. The festival had at least 300-400 people attending – students, professors, and even children from all around the world – USA, Europe, China, etc. When we weren't playing music, we would go swimming in the swimming pool, to the spa, or visit the surrounding cities! One day we spent going to see the leaning tower of Pisa, which was about a two hour car ride - it was an amazing experience. My cousin told me that this tower is probably going to fall in the next few years! The next city that we visited was Florence – one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever been in, where we saw the Uffizi museum with amazing renaissance art by some of the world's most famous artists, churches full of paintings and frescoes, shopped in amazing Italian fashion stores -everyone knows that Italy's fashion is amongst the best in the world! We also visited the city of Sienna, where we climbed atop a 500 stair tower, to see the gorgeous view of the whole city, and explored the churches, domes etc of the city. One day the festival took us to the Mediterranean sea and the town called Porto St. Stefano, where after six years I got to swim in the sea! Ahhaa This was one of the most beautiful days, and soothing experiences that I experienced in a long time. Altogether, it was one of the best musical/vacation experiences that I have ever had in my life, and very enriching and creative! I want to go back to Europe again next year to another music festival – perhaps France, and have caught the travel – bug:).
Here are some pictures of me, and my group in Tuscany! Thank you U of Utah for helping me with this opportunity!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Sienna--view from the Bell Tower
Our group from Utah in Pisa
One of my Beethoven op. 111 performances in the old church in Arcidosso