Gwendolyn Toth

Gwendolyn Toth is the director of the New York City-based early music ensemble, ARTEK, and a soloist on early keyboards (organ, harpsichord, fortepiano). She is married to harpsichordist Dongsok Shin, and they have three children.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Settling in to a new season

It's the end of different the rhythm of my life is once the concerts, my teaching, kids at school, my skating, and all the other things we do with our lives get back onto track each fall.

We've already had four concerts now on Midtown Concerts. I played French baroque music on September 22. A video of the opening piece is posted. It's not the best vantage point, I admit! But we don't want the cameras to get in the way of the audience. Oh boy, and it was a warm day. As soon as I got out and sat down at the harpsichord, I thought, "way too hot, with this jacket on." But I couldn't quite face starting to strip off clothing in front of the audience...

Immanuel Lutheran, where we play, has turned out to exceed our expectations as the venue for Midtown Concerts. It's close to public transportation (just a block and a half from the Lex Ave 86th St. subway stop), the space is spacious but still small enough to be intimate, and the beautiful carvings on the front wall make a lovely backdrop for our performers. Best of all, the church pastor and secretary, Pastor Greg Fryer and Karen Rombey, attend most concerts, and Pastor Greg tells me how happy he is that the concerts have found a home here.

Even better, for the indefinite future we have been lent a fabulous two-manual Franco-Flemish harpsichord. Built by Dutch builder Titus Crijnen, the harpsichord is owned by Nicholas Bunning, and ARTEK patron who has welcomed us to his elegant uptown brownstone several times for benefit concerts. Not only does the harpsichord sound incredibly beautiful (I'm really enjoying practicing on it) but it also looks stunning. The oil painting on the lid and the extravagant outer decoration are very special. We are very fortunate. Thank you Nick!

I'll be playing the harpsichord again next Wednesday when Boston violinist Cynthia Freivogel plays Bach's C minor Sonata for violin and harpsichord. Can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment