Ensemble Leonarda is pleased this season to feature concerts with “Friends”, guest musicians from VA, PA, and Montreal, Canada.
First up is Curt C. Christensen, former principal trumpeter of the U.S. Air Force Concert Band. Nancy Kito recounts their first meeting.
NANCY: I first met Curt when he was 19 and a student at Juilliard. I was organist for a small Lutheran church in Astoria, Queens, & you know, these little churches have a little extra $$ for special music at Christmas and Easter. I booked Curt through the Juilliard Placement Office, and we were to meet at Juilliard in the lobby. Now, this is before the Internet, smartphones, and Facebook. We were actually standing about 3 feet apart next to each other, looking out for each other, till I finally noticed his instrument case and asked, “Hey, are you Curt?”
The piece was the Telemann Concerto in D Major, and so we started rehearsing. After the first run-through, I said, “Wow, that’s awesome, but do you think we could slow down the first movement?” and we did. Then I asked for it even slower, because “You know, I have this recording stuck in my head and I really liked the interpretation.” Finally, Curt put down his instrument and asked, “So, can I ask which recording you have?” and I said, “Oh, it’s by some French guy named Maurice André”.
Curt almost passed out [for those of you unfamiliar, Maurice André is the trumpet god, he’s like the Jordi Savall, the Itzhak Perlman, the Yo-Yo Ma of trumpeters]. We never did play it that slowly! (but we were a success nonetheless). I lost track of him but then by chance the USAF Concert Band was playing a concert at the Tilles Center where I was the House Manager, and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
We’re pleased to be reprising the Telemann Concerto as well as a Torelli, concerto, and a piece I’d not heard of before, “Aria di Postiglione” from the Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother - BWV 992 (an early work) by J.S. Bach.
Concert: T3 [Telemann, Torelli, & Trumpet]. Sun. Dec. 2, 2018 at 4:00pm at St. Michael’s Church, 225 W. 99th Street, NYC. Info: bit.ly/1VHLOJe