Here is a our first ensemble picture ! We had our second rehearsal this evening.. and took some quick pictures of the group so as I can get started with promoting the ensemble... I just love playing with these fine, fine musicians !
Picture of Nadina in front of one of her many paintings ! ...
Just thought you may be interested that I had my first WW quintet rehearsal tonight with a newly formed ensemble.We have big plans for this ensemble with some really neat recording projects in the working...
I’m very excited as you can imagine. My last quintet in Amsterdam, well no comparison, tonight we just breezed through some quintet music, like the Carl Nielson, and it never sounded so good ! I am really glad I am playing in this quintet, this is so good for me… !! Like they say, if you want to become a better musician then you need to play with great people !
I recently recieved promo shots of my two best friends. Martin and Brynn, both violinists. The photo are both equally fantastic but extremly different. I just love how even a photo of course can be both considered a form of art and expression, but also how it says so much about the person and what it is they are trying to tell about themselfs.
Sorry I haven't written for so long.. been so darn busy ! I've been playing this week to my big surprise again with the Toronto Symphony. They called me late Wednesday night if I could play the next morning rehearsal, and evening concert; Of course I replied! and to play Assn't 1st in Rachmaninoff's 2nd symphony, One of my favorites! That’s a nice way to wean myself out of September, and be introduced to October and the fall season. So tonight, Saturday, is the last of the 3 concerts. I just love to play with the TSO , Canada can be so proud it has such a wonderful orchestra ! Click here for more info on the TSO
The sun seeped through the curtains onto Catherine’s face. She twitched her nose, gave a loud snore, and turned onto her side. Dreams of ponies and their young filled her head as the clock continued to tick toward 8 AM.
Groan. A new day, a new beginning. The bags were packed, and she was ready to go to the “new world”- as her mother called it. A new world with new opportunities, new adventures, new friends.
“Ineke! En nu moet je op staan!” Her mother came into the room, with her amazing power rolling off her tongue, as she demanded her daughter to get out of bed. Catherine jumped up immediately, and her mother began to dress her.
* * *
Siebe-Jan Bouma knew that today had to be a special day. After all, it was the last day he was able to spend with his granddaughter before she left. His first, and so far only grandchild. Siebe loved children, and because all of his own kids were grownup, he couldn’t wait to see them having children of their own. He was very happy when Leida had a daughter. He knew that they were going to have a great time together!
The bike stood outside the door as usual. Siebe unlocked it, like he did everyday, so he could ride it to work. Today, he needed to think of what to give Ineke as a good-bye present. Unfortunately he had to work. He had planned to do something with Ineke and Leida after he was done.
Siebe’s thoughts were stopped abruptly when he saw the store. Why hadn’t he thought of it before? Ineke loved book! She had very many, and she always enjoyed listening to the words of the picture books- seeing the pictures come to life. He stopped, put his bike against the wall, and entered the bookstore.
The smell of new books hit him as soon as he entered. Freshly printed pages, filled to the brim with new information. Siebe’s haven of facts. There were books about paintings, architectural novels, books on places he had never been before; everything you could think of. His fingers were itching to open up the books on buildings in France. But a children’s book is what he had come for, so a children’s book is what he would get.
The first table of children’s books was of the comic book genre. Big piles of books filled with cartoon characters’ adventures, drama, and humour. Siebe’s eyes were only attracted to the top of the pile, where there was a big yellow book with the cartoon characters on the cover. It looked like it was about a young boy. The title of the book was “4 Adventuren van Robbedoes en Kwabbernoot”- 4 Adventures of Robbedoes and Kwabbernoot.
He purchased it right away, as well as the book on French buildings, and quickly left the store to go to work. In the store he had gotten a great idea for a new project: designing a miniature city in which the buildings came up to your knee.
*** Catherine was very excited about seeing Opa today. She was always excited to see Opa, but she knew she was leaving for Canada tonight, and mama had told her Opa wasn’t going with them. So she wanted to have one last Opa hug. She didn’t know at the time that it was going to be the last hug he would ever give her.
Leida and Catherine were walking around the house to make absolutely certain they hadn’t forgotten to pack anything. The house seemed so weird; it was so empty! All of Catherine’s books were packed, her clothes, Mama’s clothes, as well as Papa’s. The closets were bare. Your footsteps echoed when you walked anywhere. It had turned into a ghost house.
Catherine, however, had noticed something that hadn’t been packed yet. Her bear! She dashed to pick it off the floor, and hugged it to her chest. How could she have forgotten one of her favourite teddy’s? She immediately put the bear in her suitcase with the pink heart stickers on the lid. She put him in a nice comfy spot; on top of her fuzzy sweater. There, he was safe.
“Opa!” Screamed Catherine. She opened the door and Siebe picked her up in his arms. Oma Wol was there, too! Mama came out with a tray of tea and biscuits. Everyone sat down together one last time, and talked.
Then it happened. Opa gave Catherine something wrapped in brown paper with a sticker on it. She couldn’t read what it said yet, but she was learning! She opened it, and out fell a book with pictures! She loved picture books. She immediately started looking through the pages.
Finally, it was time to go to boating dock. It was a tearful good-bye. But they were leaving for this new place with great opportunities. They were leaving for Canada.
This picture is actually taken in Holland with Catherine and her parents shortly before leaving for Canada
Ahh... sweet 16 ... I remember when I turned 16 ! and now Nicholas has turned 16 .. time flies !! my god Nicholas at 16, I remember the day he was born in Landsmeer, that sweet little round face with that full head of red hair... Happy Birthday Nic ! Today I drove him and his two friends, Tom and Jerry to Paramount Canada"s Wonderland they had a blast ! ( all these boys are so tall, all about 2 metres high)Picture - L-R Jerry, Nicholas, Tom
Today Martin sent me some pictures of some old colleagues from my Hoofdstad Operette days !
He went on this fantastic boat ride around the Amsterdam Canals. In this picture you see all former members of the Hoofdstad Operette Orchestra:
L - R :Silvia, Bass player and arranger, Krijn, Principal Bassoon, Nic, Principal Clarinet, Bob, principal Trumpet, and Harry, principal Trombone. We had a lot of fun all those years, I played 18 years in this orchestra ! My god its seems like a dream now.. so long ago !
Here's a picture of the cottage and the dock, knotice its a log cabin!
I had a wonderful weekend ! my god Ontario is just so beautiful! My god friend/horn player Ann invited Milo and I up to her family cottage for the weekend.
Here Milo and I are taking our first dip
It's up on Catchacoma Lake, which is about 50 km north of Peterborough, in total 200 km from Toronto. The cottage was full of family and dogs and cats, and with all the swimming and eating and amazing games of euchre (you are a great partner Ann, we creamed them ! ha ! ... and attacking fish.. we all had a blast ! thanks again Ann and I will be back for sure next summer !
Yesterday, August 18th, was Maya and Alex's Birthday. Maya turned 17 and Alex turned 14.... oh my god I'm getting so old... I can still remember them as cute little babies ! and now look at them ! well.. turned out pretty good I'd say ! I love my little neice and nephew very, very much. Maya her mom Melinda and I went out to dinner last night at Jack Astors to celebrate, she recived a new Ipod mini, Maya was very happy with her gift.
Alex, I heard is out camping in Northern Ontario in tents with the family. Hope there are'nt to many bugs... and today its raining, I hope they can cope !? ... any way guys, Happy Birthday... and enjoy !!
A recent love letter was posted to me publicly on the web by my best friend and biggest love of my life Martin deDeugd. Martin and I were separated, better said amputated from each other in September 2001. We both played in the Amsterdam Opera Comique, the HO, for 16 years; him as Concertmaster, me as principal Horn. The first time we met, it was instant friendship. And later love. But as we both had our destinies we had to part and go where our heart was telling us to go.
In August 2001 he arranged a surprise farewell party for me at his house, and as shown here in this picture, I did indeed had a lot of friends that I had to leave behind. The people in the picture: Left to right - Lies,Petra,Gerard,Brynn,Gottfried,Bill,Jolan,Diana&Baby,Marco,Marc.... R-L,second row,Huub,Martin,Waldemaar,John,Frieda,Wendy& Milo.
Martin and I are still very close, and we have talked about marriage so often it’s getting to sound like a broken record. And that is the way it will always be I guess, broken. With his amazing new solo violin career in Holland, and my commitments to my new life here in Toronto, we as a couple will never be.
I just wanted to express my love publicly as well for the one man that is as close to my soul as anyone could be.
Thank god for the phone and internet, which what keeps us sane.
Last night I attended a wonderful and awe inspiring concert, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada at Roy Thompson Hall. The program they played was extremely challenging and impressive ! Schubert, Rosamunde: Overture,Bartok,The Miraculous Mandarin (Suite)Mahler's Symphony no. 5.
I was the most impressed with 2 amazing young stars! the First Horn, Stephen Cameron, from Nova Scotia, this man is quite a talent and I predict he will have won an orchestral audition with in the year ! also I was very impressed at the amazaing talent of the 1st Trumpet, Luise Heyerhoff, from Ontario. As you may know or may not know, the opening of Mahler's 5th symphony starts with a very difficult Trumpet solo, all on your own, as 1st trumpet you set the tone of the whole work!! and Luise did that and to boot too !! then comes the famous horn solo in the 3rd movement, Cameron played it so tastefully and sounded like a very polished professional player, capable of comparing to any principal horn in any Canadian Orchestra today !
As I read a Quote from Today's Toronto Star reviewing last night concert it is equally as enthusiastic - "Youth orchestra tames massive Mahler" - "The centrepiece of the evening was the massive, daunting Mahler Symphony No. 5, a work to stretch and challenge even the most experienced orchestras; It opens with a brass-filled funeral march"... "You also need an outstanding brass section and this is one of the undoubted strengths of this year's orchestra. There is some wonderful talent here..."
Attending a concert like this is so important for all middle age professional players like myself.. why.. because it reminds you of the PASSION you once had when you where that age. You played because you loved it, it was your passion... you didn't play to make some money to pay your bills, many middle aged professional players have unfortunately lost sight of what really stimulated them to practise for hours a day when all your other friends were outside playing baseball or something.
I'm glad I went to this concert, not only was I able to enjoy wonderful music making but experience the feeling of being young again !
Now off I go to practise my self, in preparation of my many wonderful musical experiences that I will be passionately experiencing this year in and around the Toronto Music scene...
Ineke, Caroline and Nicholas are in Amsterdam for 3 weeks. They left last Friday, and I have just recieved word from them that all is going great and they are enjoying the treats of Amsterdam. Ineke is going to hear the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra play Mahler's 6th on the 22.. now I am jealous! I am going to listen to the National Youth Orchestra of Canada play Mahler's 5th this tuesday the 16th at Roy Thompson Hall. Of course the Concertgebouw will be the concert to be at... but I guess I can't choose that one right now... Amsterdam is famous for all it's bikes as well... it would be a great idea to build a Bike parking lot at Union Station , just like the one in Amsterdam, where you can park your bike inside, for one day, or one year, plus if you have a flat tire, it would be fixed by the end of the day when you pick it up ! now thats a good idea !!
My Best friend Kathy Halvorson, Proffesional Oboe play, announced to me last week that she is getting married !
I am so happy for her. Kevin Mallon is the husband to be (Conductor of the Cork Opera, and Aradia Ensemble)... Last night , I went to their house ( in Toronto) for dinner and wine, we had a great evening of catching up on stories and experiances from the last weeks. Milo was not to happy later that evening having too be locked up in the house as we sat outside enjoying our dinner under the stars of a great summers evening, because of a bitchy cat that was not happy with a dog on her turf. It would have been a real cat and dog fight kind of like the picture below of Kathy and Kevin as she was telling Kevin to get out of the kitchen !!!
Here are some shots of the city. This summer has been amazing.. breaking every record in the book. We have had over 40 days of above 30 degree celcius tempratures ! Sunny, Sunny and sunny ... I can't even imagine what it would be like 4 months from now in the dead of the winter
Boy Melinda sure is one very happy Rolling Stone fan today. Last night she got to see the Stones in a very private concert here in Toronto. She and Ken were one of 800 that saw the Stones perform a live concert here in Toronto at the Phoenix night club. She has all the right connections to have gotten the tickets. She came to see me today at the office and was all teary eyes and emotional in explaning her amazing night to never forget. Above is a picture taken at last nights concert, Melinda was that close to them !
Today I went to have a nice dinner in the garden at my friends house Renas and Nico. They just bought this great house in Scarborough. Renas was telling me a wonderfull story of what they discovered in their attic. They found this sort of secret door to the Attic as they were moving in. And low and behold they found 30 silver trumpets just laying on the ground of the Attic. No cases nothing, just laying there to be discovered. Renas showed some of them to me, seen in this picture above. What I think has happened, that a former owner of the house back in around 1950 was probably a marching band director and these were the instruments from the Band. The band probably disbanded and he stored the instruments in the Attic to be used maybe one day again. Well they never were and 40 years later Renas and Nico found them. I will ask my Brass bud, Ron if he could find a collector and buyer for them.
here is Renas with the trumpets here I am in their wonderful backyard/Garden Renas and Nico
Happy Birthday to me !!! wow... another year older... when will it stop, I still feel like 34, maybe I should just tell everyone I am 34 from now on.. we had a nice party, get together at mom's and the weather was perfect.
Hi there... I know... its so late, I have not written anything about my trip to New York, I've been busy ! So Ineke, Nicholas and I went to Flew went to New York from July 2nd to July 10th.
We met up with my cousin, Steven, his wife Okkie and their 3 boys, Walter, Max and Ducco. We had an amazing time together, saw lots of Galleries, Central Park, museum's, etc. We stayed at my friends Kathy place in Inwood, which is northern Manhattan. It was great, and very accessible by Subway. All in all we spent 6 of the 10 days with them and had a wonderful time.
Today with my great helpers I produced a huge successful show at Queens Park for Canada Day festivities. I had hired 150 artists to perform on the main stage especially built for July 1st, Canada Day at Queens Park. Caroline and Nicholas and Mom helped me the whole day with getting the groups on time to the stage area for thier performances.
Well it's a scorcher today.. its only 11am and it already 33 degrees ! There are going to be a lot a gorgeous sweaty gays walking around today as it's Gay Pride Weekend.. I hung up the Dutch flag today..
Keep watching this blog next week.. as Ineke, Nicholas and I are going to New York for 8 days, and meeting Steven, Okkie and the boys while there !... that's going to be great fun !!!
Wendy has suffered from morbid Obesity all of her life. This blog contains stories from the past and present. How her weight has affected her life. With daily updates and inserts, this all attributes to her recent decision (January 1, 2008) to begin her massive weight loss project. Her goal is to lose 200 pounds by her 50th birthday, being July 23, 2009. On July 1st Wendy reached a goal of weighing 250 pounds, but there after she unfortunately went off the diet. On Jan 1, 2011 Wendy started her weight-loss journey once again. An accomplished classical horn player, Wendy has performed with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony , the Niagara Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician she has performed with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, Amici Chamber Ensemble and Network Winds. Wendy is also Executive Director of the Community Folk Arts Council of Toronto.