Kim Kashkashian, viola

Her first tour was in 1972-73

Marlboro artistry and immense experience has lasted throughout my own musical life. We young musicians, some of whom have become lifelong friends and chamber music partners, also gained invaluable experience in how to deal with traveling and then performing nearly every day at important venues. Traveling alone can be lonely and stressful, but traveling with your Marlboro friends was always fun, even during blizzards or while experiencing flight delays.

When sifting through memories of touring for Marlboro, a few snapshot vignettes came to mind; Nobuko, curled up in the backseat of the car on the highway, barely holding on to her stomach pain, who refused to go the doctor until after we played the concert. Heichiro, who walked on stage at our tenth concert in an unknown midwest town, after a grueling travel day, saying to me, today, I REALLY feel like playing. ( He really did play like a minor god that evening)

Felix, dearest Felix, rehearsing with us long past Suzanne’s point of patience and admitting he was in REALLY hot water at home.

Miklos, who caught me practicing the truly frightening opening of Dvořák viola quintet, and reflected that trying too hard was an act of ego—and I had better give it up immediately before I ruined it for everybody!

Felix, dearest Felix, saying after a concert “you idiots, you play so beautiful!”

Looking for vegetarian options in 1974 somewhere west of NYC: we ended up at McDonalds with Jaime Laredo singing out, “Kim, you need two double cheeseburgers without the burger! On the basis of his insistence and his persuasive smile I had dinner with the group! (OK, that was a loooong time ago, no such problems today!)

Felix, dearest Felix, as we were playing the final concert of a tour with Verklaerte Nacht, and  he said to us that it was his last time…

Marlboro tours: Community and generosity of spirit, extreme giving of all you possess and then yet more, a lesson that works in every direction and never ends.