Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Busy Week at Dr. Dick Plaza

After the long zombie siege of “flu-like symptoms” morphed into my first ever case of sinusitis abetted by the first spring allergies I’ve dealt with in over 20 years, I've been slathering down antibiotics with codeine-laced cough medicine and on the verge of feeling almost sub-human.

I found it impossible to employ circular breathing which I’ve never managed to master while in the midst of a coughing jag but after several days of that and the additional aggravation to the previously mentioned groinal injuries, I also found it near impossible to walk and sometimes even to carry a mere gallon of water out to water some recently planted supposedly deer-proof ground-covers.

On top of that, the doctor said my blood pressure was kind of high: 170/90. After she told me that and several minutes passed in which I should’ve been able to relax a bit, she took it again. It was now 170/102. Uhm… So yeah, now there’s medication for that, too.

Meanwhile, I’ve been getting ready for a busy week.

There’s a pair of posts about Tchaikovsky and his 4th Symphony - an up-close & personal look at the man and some of the issues behind the symphony's creation - over at the Harrisburg Symphony Blog. With any luck, some people will find it before the orchestra’s concerts this weekend. Given Stuart Malina’s busy schedule after the last concert – “Stuart & Friends,” the Pops Concert, a week with the Naples (FL) Philharmonic – and the fact during most of that time I’ve been highly contagious, there wasn’t any chance to get together to record a podcast about this weekend’s concerts. Like I want to infect the maestro...

Fortunately, today is the first day the coughing has been hacked down to a minimum. This afternoon, I’m going in to midtown to hear Concertante’s pre-concert preview with the new work by Kevin Puts that’s been commissioned as part of their “1+5 Series.” This one features cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach as the “1” with her colleagues. It’s receiving its world premiere tomorrow evening (Thursday May 14th) at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center at HACC on a program that also includes a Beethoven string trio and Schoenberg’s sextet, Verklärte Nacht or Transfigured Night. The concert is at 8:00 but I’ll be doing a pre-concert talk starting at 7:15, hopefully with the composer, Kevin Puts, to talk about his new piece.

This is not the only World Premiere in Harrisburg this week! Jeremy Gill – a composer born in Harrisburg and now living in Philadelphia, teaching at Temple University – will be in town to hear his Symphony No. 1 given its world premiere with Stuart Malina and the Harrisburg Symphony. Those performances are Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 at the Forum – the pre-concert talk an hour before each performance will be given by Stuart Malina who’ll be talking to composer Jeremy Gill about his symphony.

I hope to catch some of the rehearsals and find some time around those and some educational out-reach events to talk with Jeremy and post some information at the Harrisburg Symphony Blog.

And then, on Friday night, I’ll be doing some on-stage hosting thing with the Susquehanna Chorale conducted by Linda Tedford and their “Spring Concert,” 8pm at Whitaker Center. But more on that later... Right now, after dealing with nuisance issues re:Blogspot and my newish computer, I’m going to be running later if I don’t get this posted, like, now!

- Dr. Dick

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