Vanessa White

Violinist

December 2018 - Blog Entries

2018 Highlights

31st December 2018

 

2018 has been one crazy year for me. The year started out really rocky having to slightly neglect my studies and playing to be with my grandmother who passed away in February.

 

Despite this, I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved during the course of the year. I’ve become a much stronger person and believe in myself a lot more and because of this I’ve improved my playing out of all recognition!

 

Here are some of my highlights of 2018:

1. Performing the whole Tchaikovsky concerto for my end of third year recital (despite having to put this whole work together a little bit later than I had planned)

2. The Great Bowden Music Fest, which as always never fails to be the highlight of my year. This year it was extra special being able to play chamber music with musicians from lots of different nationalities and having made some friendships for life.

3. Extra special highlight of the Music Festival was performing the Schubert Trout Quintet alongside a professional ensemble and actually enjoying my own performance on the recording afterwards!

4. The ongoing playing with my Alegría girls and the other chamber musicians I started working with this year

5. Becoming a prize winner of an online international music competition this month

6. Starting my blogging journey that made me discover how much I’ve come on over the years.

 

It’s been such a good year and I’m so excited for 2019! Really looking forward to every playing opportunity that comes my way, the continued friendships and hopefully some new friendships along the way.

 

I will also be finishing my degree at the RNCM in the summer and will be looking ahead to my future career. Hopefully the second half of the year I’ll be starting my new life in a new country... I can’t wait! Happy New Year everyone and wishing you all the happiness and success in 2019

Team Alegría

22nd December 2018

 

Hello Everyone and Welcome back to the life of Vanessa the Violinist. I can’t believe that Christmas is only three days away! I hope you’ve done all your Christmas shopping and are ready for the big day. I’ve certainly left things a little bit too last minute this year.. But after a trip to York I’m just about ready.

 

As the Christmas holidays begin, my diary is a little bit more free. Giving me some time to relax, catch up on sleep, continue some relaxed practice but most importantly enjoy this festive period with family and friends. After Christmas, I will also be preparing and getting everything ready with my parents for the Great Bowden Music Fest presents: ‘A flavour of Vienna’ concert on New Year’s Day at 3:30pm in the Great Bowden Parish Church. The programme will feature some popular works and some enjoyable extras. Tickets are nearly sold out but there are still some left. If you would like to attend go to www.greatbowdenmusicfest.co.uk to find out how to grab your tickets.

 

As you all know, I love playing chamber music, and am always delighted to get into a group and learn some wonderful repertoire with my friends and colleagues. I had an opportunity to get together with my piano trio, the Alegría Trio during the last two weekends before the end of term with pianist Imy Luc and cellist Lizzie Elliott.

 

We worked on the Schubert B flat trio which is one of my favourite works in the piano trio repertoire (How could it not be?!). This work is unbelievably hard to play, it feels extremely uncomfortable and never seems to get easier, but that didn’t stop us from getting a fantastic start to discovering this piece. What is so great about playing with the Alegría trio is that although it’s been a few months that we’ve played together since Lizzie went off to study her masters at the Royal Academy of Music, we have had over three years worth of chamber music experience together which makes putting any work together incredibly straightforward.

 

It was a really positive experience having spent nearly ten hours together in two weekends. We’re currently looking at our plans for playing together in the future. Stay tuned and I will keep you updated with everything we're up to.

 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I will be back after the New Year, but before then please leave a comment in the comments section. It’s always really lovely to hear your voices.

 

All the best for the new year and see you all in 2019 :)

 

P.S. I’ve made some changes to my page this week, to make it easier for you to comment on the bottom of my site, if you would like to see some of my previous posts I’ve put them under individual pages.

The Alegría Girls

Being Self-Critical

15th December 2018

 

Hello Everyone, and once again Welcome back to the life of Vanessa the Violinist! I am writing this post just before I go off to the RNCM for the last opera show which means it’s nearly the arrival of the Christmas break… Yay!!

 

As always the last week of term can always be the busiest, catching up with last minute work, deadlines, concerts etc.. I have been juggling rehearsals, practice, opera shows, editing recordings and lots of hours worth of violin lessons in one week.

 

Today, I wanted to write about being self critical with yourself. I’ve learnt a lot this week from my violin lessons about how even though being self critical is really important, it can get in the way of the overall level of progress you’ve made. I have spent the term putting in many hours into learning the Sarasate Carmen Fantasy which is extremely difficult but a lovely challenge. I have been very critical with myself, working on a lot of passages in lots of detail still believing what I’ve done isn’t good enough. My teacher has reminded me all term that actually my progression has been huge each week and I need to stop beating myself up about small little passages and look at the improvements I’ve made over a small amount of time as a whole. So this week, my challenge was to learn the whole work in its entirety. This included working on some small details, memorising, and running through sections as often as possible. I couldn’t believe that as soon as I started thinking about the piece overall how I was pretty much on top of all the hard passages without too much effort which was a nice surprise.

 

It’s very important to be self critical with yourself, but theres not enough room for too much, my teacher told me recently half of your practice should be focusing on detail and the second half on the general outline. I can’t believe how much this change of mindset and way of practicing has improved my playing abilities in a very short space of time.

 

I really hope you have a lovely week filled with lots of positivity and festive filled activities. Send a comment in the comments section below and if you haven’t done so already follow my Facebook and Instagram accounts on ‘vanessatheviolinist’.

 

See you soon :)

Performing Puccini

8th December 2018

 

Hello Everyone and Welcome back to the life of Vanessa the Violinist! I hope you’ve all had a lovely couple of weeks, filled with lots of positivity and excitement. I can’t believe it’s already December and the festive season has arrived…!

 

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks rehearsing intensively with the RNCM Opera Orchestra working towards the RNCM’s winter term opera production of two Puccini Operas, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Puccini wrote some great tunes and being able to play in the first violin section has meant that I have been able to enjoy playing some really lovely melodies to support the singers on stage. It’s always fun to be a part of a group of players, but working with an opera company is even more special. It’s amazing how so many different artists can join forces to create a beautiful production that everyone can be proud to be apart of.

 

It has also been particularly wonderful to have the other violinist in my quartet Ana Marta Aguiar as my desk partner these past few weeks. After having spent this term working really well together as chamber musicians, t’s been an extra bonus to be able to play next to each in the opera. We have been able to help each other as well as being a lot of fun to talk to each other in the rehearsals breaks. The shows are running from Friday the 7th of December until Saturday the 15th of December. It certainly is a show you don’t want to miss… If you’re around the area I would highly recommend coming to watch.

 

On top of all these Opera rehearsals and performances, I have had to keep going with all my usual daily practice schedules and lessons. Particularly as I have a couple of exciting projects coming up over the next two weekends… Stay tuned over the coming weeks to find out what I’ve been up to. In the mean time, I hope you all have a great week.

 

Leave a comment in the comments section and send me a message with recommendations of topics you would like me to talk about.

 

See you next time :)