The piano trio Pangaea Chamber Players explores the fickle nexus between music and visual art in their Navona release THREE PERSPECTIVES. While the ensemble’s flute-cello-piano setup might evoke ideas of Baroque music, there are no such reminiscences to be found. Instead, the young trio presents three new compositions by contemporary composers Ned Rorem, Dan Locklair, and Jennifer Higdon. Although recent works, all pieces on THREE PERSPECTIVES are tonal – perhaps owing to their descriptive, illustrative purpose. The album’s title, after all, hints at the connections between musical and visual artistic expressions: music inspired by art, music inspired by artists, and art inspired by music.
Today, Virginia is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to discover how she was able to bounce back from a Master’s recital with an unforeseen twist…
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
I don’t think there was a specific moment – it was a love that grew on me over time. Naturally, there were times where I questioned the path I was on, but with each passing year in school, music became something I knew I could not live without. So, I kept going, and now here I am!
What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
There have been many, many unusual performances along the way! Especially in some of the preschool education concerts I performed while I was a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. But the one that sticks out is having the fire alarm go off about three minutes into my second Master’s recital at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). I had to stop playing, and we all had to exit the building. So, I was hanging out in a parking garage chatting with people who were in the audience. Once we got the “all clear,” we got back to it. Restarting the recital was a bit of a test for getting my focus back.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream. And coffee. And especially coffee ice cream. I worked at an ice cream shop in high school, so I can be pretty picky about ice cream…
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?
There are a lot of professions out there that intrigue me: business, engineering, sustainability, physical therapy, etc. But I also genuinely enjoy what I do! I get to teach music, explore creative performing projects, play a wide range of music, and have the flexibility to spend some quality time with my kids over the summer and go to their soccer games. It’s a fantastic combination of many, many good things!
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to Greece, so I’ll say Greece. But I find that I can gain some creative energy being anywhere that is reasonably secluded and full of natural beauty (beach, mountains, etc.). It is easier for me to get back to the “why” of what I do in quiet spaces and I enjoy spending time in the natural world to reflect on experiences that will help bring pieces to life.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
This is an interesting question! I’d have to say the cello. I started playing cello in fourth grade, but it only lasted about six months. It’s a beautiful instrument, so if I could go back to my fourth-grade self and have some skills, I would.