It is so hard to target the most special moments of being on tour with Musicians from Marlboro because each tour has been unique and extraordinary. Each program has been challenging and exciting and all of my colleagues have been utterly inspirational. Since I have had the honor and the privilege to take part in at least 20 tours as well as concerts celebrating the 40th, 50th, and 60th Anniversaries of the Festival, my memories are abundant.
I have to start at the beginning. My first tour was in the 1976-77 season with the great Italian violinist Pina Carmirelli and the amazing Philipp Naegele. How honored I am to have had the chance to play with both of them at Marlboro, on tour and later in our own group – the Boccherini Ensemble. I had found a home with them and a family at Marlboro. It was all fun if you think that driving a world famous violinist from Philadelphia to New York in a blizzard is fun! We made it and once ensconced in New York, Pina made her fabulous Penne alla Vodka for all of us in my apartment! You’d think it would be the musical inspiration that one remembers (and I do) but it was the life lessons that were really most important. Friendship, working together, learning patience under pressure and understanding that everyone has different needs.
I feel like every tour I have done has been an incredibly rewarding musical experience. But I know that those first tours for me and I hope for each of the young players that have had their first touring with experience with me, there is nothing more exciting than feeling like you have actually taken the first step towards the life you’ve dreamt of.
I think for me, the most memorable tour or tours that I’ve done were with my friends Daniel Phillips, Peter Zazofsky and Stephanie Brown. We did two tours in the 1977-78 season, and reunited again in 1982-83. When we embarked on our first tour our ages were 19, 20, 21 and 22. Peter was the old guy! To this day we are still not sure who agreed to let us go out there alone without a senior member, but whoever it was, we all have to say thank you! We called it our tour-let and we had so much fun! From eating our way through Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco to having room service for the first time in Madison. Playing at the Kennedy Center, at the Met Museum in New York, driving way too fast through Iowa but having enough time to stop in Spillville (where Dvorak lived) and take pictures in front of his house. We almost missed a concert in Michigan when driving from Chicago because there was a time change we didn’t know about and when we were playing in Phoenix, my Mother nearly fainted when Dan’l pulled his balled up suit out of his suitcase! Needless to say, she took it straight to the dry cleaners!
The stories are plentiful and the concerts are always at the highest possible level. Just ask the people that attend them! I am personally so grateful for the friendships that have lasted and those that continue to form as a result of the festival and that the tours cement the relationships. Once you are at Marlboro you have a family that is forever. A great gift.