We complain about all the Zoom lessons and What’s App meetings we’ve had to endure in the last two years, but they can also be a blessing. Case in point: yesterday, when Meredith Wohlgemuth and I had a Catalan coaching with our guest teacher, Albert Carbonell. Two years ago Albert had come to Caramoor to work on Montsalvatge and Toldrà songs, and he won all hearts. He’s one of the sweetest, kindest creatures on the planet, and he has a deep connection to Spanish song. When you work with him, you know you’ve arrived at The Source. This time around, he couldn’t be with us in person—he was in Valencia where he is looking after his ailing father. But what a treat to have Albert back in the Music Room at Caramoor, even if he was merely a talking head on Mer’s iPad.
I have not spoken much about Francesco Barfoed, the Rising Stars pianist we took on board this year. I’ve been blessed with some beautiful four-hand partners in the last few months. It doesn’t get much better than Joseph Li and Shawn Chang, who were by my side for recent projects. Francesco is right up there, a dream colleague.