Sunday, 18 December 2011

Recital and Concerts!

Well! This weekend has been amazing!  As you know, I had my recital this past Friday.  I had invited a few people from my apartment, but I didn't expect the turnout !  About 20 people (or more, including my flat mates) came to support me at the recital!

My performance was not bad.. it could have been better but also could have been worse so I'm not complaining at all haha! I played the whole of Bach's English suite no. 2, Brahms op. 118, no. 2-4, and an improvised Christmas medley.  My colleagues also performed.   I am glad that the audience enjoyed the recital. 
Here are a few pictures Kyle took at the recital.





After the recital, I went to grab a kebab (equivalent of a shawarma.. except in a burger bun) with the guys then I went to the first choir concert.

The choir concerts were very nice although the churches was freezing!  I performed with my coat on.  On Friday evening we performed in a town about 40 km outside of Graz called Leibniz and on Saturday we performed in a town close to Leibniz.. I forget the name haha.  Here are some pics I took at the concerts.

At the first concert on Friday evening

The choir
The choir director, Zelika
The venue at the second concert on Saturday evening


After the second concert on Saturday evening, the choir members went out for dinner and invited me and I happily accepted the invite!  We had a 5 course traditional Steierian meal.  "Steierian" comes from Steiermark, and it is the province that Graz is in.  I even won a gift at the dinner haha.  But all in all, a good night.

School is officially out for the holidays and as Christmas is approaching, many of the students are going back home, traveling, etc.  Therefore I've been hanging out with some friends before they go off for the holidays.  Here are some more pictures!

Hanging out with the flat mates! (and no, I and Mario's outfits were not planned lol)

My flatmates got me a cake and posted it on my door with this note :) what can I say?.. I have awesome flatmates!
That's all from me for now.  As always, thank you for reading!  I gotta go cook for the guys! Cheers and God bless!

Kofi

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas!

Hey guys!

Sorry for slacking off on the posts!  As Christmas is approaching, the city is filled with lights, music, and happy people!  It seems like the Christmas spirit is getting to everyone!  I went up to Schlossberg, which is the clock tower on top of the hill which over looks Graz, and I took some pictures of the events happening there. 

Christmas spirit in Hauptplatz, one of the main plazas in the city
Again
The Christmas tree in the city center
Something like this is very common in Graz.. there are people playing music everywhere!

Entrance to Schlossberg, if you look at the top right, you can see it !

Schlossberg

The Christmas market at Schlossberg
Again
 View from the top of the restaurant at Schlossberg

There is also a bell tower

Above the market

A view of the city

Besides taking in the Christmas spirit, I have been preparing for the recital on Friday which I will be playing Bach and Brahms.  Also, exactly a week from now, I will be playing in a Christmas concert with a choir, just outside of Graz!  It should be an exciting week and I will be sure to make a post about the events!  Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends and thank you for reading.  God Bless!

Kofi

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Vid Update!

Hey guys!

It's been a HECTIC week! I've had to wake up every morning to go to school and book practice rooms, then come back home (an hour walk in total), before I go to school again!  On the bright side, things are going extremely well! Solo recital in about 2 weeks!  Here is a quick video update! 


Thank you for reading/watching!  Have a great week and stay blessed!

Cheers!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

What A Night!

Hey guys,

I hope you are all enjoying your weekends.  My weekend has been amazing so far! As you know, yesterday evening was the concert at Fiedler's Piano House.  It was actually a piano concert with a few chamber groups.  The performers were children from the age of 10 to 18 years, and some of them are prodigies; like this 13 year old boy who played Chopin's third Ballade.  We got to play on a beautiful Bosendorfer and I thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

Our performance was not bad.. it could have been better.. but it also could have been worse haha so I'm not complaining :).  I played with flutist Magie (17) and Kathrin (20).  Magie's father was kind enough to record our performance.  Here it is!



From left : Magie, myself and Kathrin

Again, with Heidi (Instructor)
The Programme

Again

We had our sound check a few hours before the concert and in between that I was fooling around on the piano playing some random jazz.  The owner heard me playing and asked me if I could play during the reception after the concert..and of course I said yes haha!  After the concert was done, the piano was moved to the center of the room. When the reception began, I started playing some jazz.  Before I knew it, there was a crowd forming around me.. some people even taking seats; it became another concert haha.  I used this opportunity to practice performing the pieces (Bach English Suite no. 2 and Brahms op. 118) that I will be playing for my recital in about 2 weeks.  After a few jazz standards, I played the Bach and then the Brahms..even got an applause after the performance :) After that I went back to jazz.  Some of the audience came to speak with me, gave me some very encouraging words, and thanked me for the performance.  It felt amazing because as musicians, I believe that we need as much encouragement as possible.  After I finished playing, I spoke with some of the performers who are also students at KUG.  At the end of the evening, the owner of the piano store invited me to come to the store at my convenience so that he could show me around! Unfortunately I was not able to take any pictures of this event because I was at the piano haha, but it was a truly amazing night.

That's all for now.I just got back from Church and feel lazy haha .. Then I have to cook dinner.. cooking for 6-7 people tonight!  As always, thank you for reading! God bless!

Cheers,

Kofi

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Graz Orchestra

Hey guys!


This past Monday, I had the opportunity to listen to the Graz Orchestra rehearse in the morning before their concert in the evening.  It was amazing!  The played at Stefaniensaal (check it out here), which according to Heidi (Chamber instructor and the principal flutist for the orchestra) is one of the best music halls in Europe.  They played Liszt, Mendelssohn and Wagner. Here are some pictures I took of the orchestra and the hall.

Of course there is a statue of Beethoven in the center of the foyer haha
The foyer again
Ceiling
Front seats in the hall

Some of the musicians warming up
The hall

View from the balcony seats
There is a statue of all the famous composers all around the hall, this one is Felix Mendelssohn
Robert Schumann

There is Heidi, with the brunette hair and black sweater
The full orchestra
Again, with the Director, Heinrich Schiff, who is a World class cellist
  

Here is Heinrich Schiff performing a Cello concerto by Gulda (Start it from 0:21.. it's pretty bad ass if you ask me haha)


Anyways, that's it for me today.  I am back at school again tomorrow and the chamber recital on Saturday.  I'll let you know how that goes! Thanks for all your support! God Bless!

Cheers

Sunday, 13 November 2011

It's getting cold!

Hey guys,

Hope everyone had a great week and is enjoying their weekend.  My week was pretty awesome I must say.  The weather is still nice but the temperature is starting to drop.. so I might have to bring out my winter coat very soon.  School is going well, as usual (I finally started doing my readings ;).  The chamber concert is this Saturday, November 19th.  It will be held at a piano store in Jakominiplatz (one of the main town centers.. kind of like downtown).  I will definitely be posting some pictures and hopefully videos from the concert in my next post.  We have one more rehearsal this Thursday and then it's showtime ;)

We are playing Friedrich Kuhlau's flute trio op. 119 in G major.  Here it is!

Now of course this is not us.. hopefully we sound as good.. or better ;)


Heidi, who is the instructor for the chamber ensemble, is a flutist for the Graz Orchestra.  They have a concert tomorrow evening at the Graz Congress in the center of the town, and she invited me to go watch the rehearsal in the morning, and then hopefully meet some of the musicians, and make some connections.  So I will be doing that before heading to school tomorrow.

My lessons with Dr. Eike Straub are going great.  We have a concert at the school at the end of November.  I will  playing Bach's English Suite no. 2 in A minor, BWV 807 and Johannes Brahms' Klavierst├╝ck op. 118.  I am working to perform all of the movements, but if not, I will be playing select movements from both the Bach and Brahms.  Again, I will post the videos of this concert as well. 

I usually go about 30 minutes early to Dr. Straub's room and practice before my lesson...and by practice, I mean playing random pieces which pretty much ends with some jazz when Dr. Straub walks in.  He has told me that he's pretty impressed with my jazz.  So he said that I should look into the jazz department and see if I'd like to take any courses and maybe even some lessons!  Since he is the department head at Kunst, he said he could get me into the classes/lessons although it's a little late in the semester.  I am very excited about this.  I will update you as to how that goes! This week is going to be a BUSY week for me, but I am going to take it all in ;)

To my disappointment (and some of you as well), I still have not been able to find a barber as you can see [-_-]

Not to worry! Since the concert is this weekend, and I need to look presentable, this will be gone by the end of this week.. even if I have to go over some desperate measures haha.

I took some pictures on my way to church today so check them out!

I would translate that for you... but I'm kind of feeling lazy.. :)

That's all for now folks! Thanks for reading and have a blessed week!

Cheers!