We have enjoyed having Elizabeth Ramos (violin) perform with us so much this season! When we asked her to play this upcoming concert with us, she was giddy with delight. It turns out that one of the pieces on the program holds a special place in her heart, and this is her first opportunity to actually play it. She has graciously shared this story with us today. Elizabeth comes from a family of musicians. Both of her parents play in the St. Louis Symphony. Her mom is a cellist and her dad is a violinist. Both of her siblings are also musicians. What is it like to grow up in a house full of string players? She gives us a little glimpse in her story.
In my parents house, my mother has a studio that is cluttered with dusty cassettes, decaying volumes of music, and every type of random artifact you could imagine, ranging from decade old used strings to broken splintering cello chairs. It is here that I would come in my adolescent years to rummage through old bins of recordings and thumb through yellowed, flaking pages of chamber music. Mixed into the hodgepodge of musical paraphernalia I would frequently come across live recordings of my parent's performances, some from only a few months prior, and others extending as far back as their conservatory days in the 70's. Perhaps early on I had a deep seated sense of parental pride, or more likely it was just an inquisitive child's curiosity, but more often than not I would find myself specifically combing through the familial stacks of long forgotten cassette tapes labeled "Carmen Fantasy, 1987," or "Brahms Double, 1993."
Every find would be a secret bonanza, to be confiscated and listened to over and over again while doing the dishes. (The kitchen had the most easily accesible stereo.) It was during one of these "snooping" sessions that I came across a cassette tape of the Schumann Piano Quintet with my father playing first violin. To a child's ears, it was magnetic. During the after dinner dishes that evening, I dragged my little brother into the kitchen and forced him to sword fight with a spatula and a wooden spoon to the Scherzo, and play acted a long, drawn out melodramatic death accompanying the slow movement. For the next year it was the only recording that played during our dish washing listening sessions. Eventually we memorized our own made up lyrics, usually consisting of comedic insults and ridiculous dialogue, frequently interrupted by bouts of giggles and laughter. Throughout the years I've held this chamber work in the highest regard, not only for it's masterful brilliance, but also for the nostalgic quality it inspires. This will be my first time performing the Schumann Piano Quintet.
Come hear Elizabeth play the Schumann Piano Quintet next Friday! Maybe she'll swing a wooden spoon at you during the Scherzo.
ACE April 12, 8:00pm The Chapel Venue buy tickets>
SCHUBERT String Trio in B flat Major CRESTON Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano SCHUMANNPiano Quintet in E flat Major
Hannah Frey, violin Elizabeth Ramos, violin Laura Reycraft, viola Stephanie Hunt, cello Adrianne Honnold, saxophone Peter Henderson, piano