Music as a lifestyle
BRECKENRIDGE – Nicholas di Eugenio’s love affair with the violin began when he was 4. For him, musicianship is a romance – a lifestyle and a way of viewing the world.
“You get romanced by the lifestyle,” di Eugenio said. “I might venture it’s likened to a major league baseball player who has gone through the circles of the minor leagues to get to the point where the same people end up in the same places and everyone knows each other and respects each other.
“The romance of it comes down to the fact that we’re all normal people, yet we can come together and make the most abnormal or extraordinary things happen. We have pedestrian ways of speaking to each other, but when we stop speaking and start playing, it’s on a whole different plane. It’s intoxicating.”
Di Eugenio began studying the Suzuki violin method, a technique based on learning by ear initially rather than by reading music, when his parents saw an ad for Suzuki instruction. He immediately loved the challenge.
One of his main obstacles was finding a teacher when he turned 13. He lived in State College, Pa., and had to travel eight hours round trip once a week to take lessons. The lessons lasted for three years until the Cleveland Institute of Music invited him to finish high school at the conservatory.
“There came a point where I realized that if I don’t become a violinist, there will be a point where I stop getting better or start regressing, and I couldn’t deal with that,” he said. “I just wanted to keep getting better, so I thought, “OK. Maybe I’m meant to be a violinist.'”
Di Eugenio will perform “Poeme” by Ernest Chausson and Rondo in G by Wolfgang Mozart at Saturday’s National Repertory Orchestra concert.
The pieces are polar opposites – Mozart’s piece is uplifting, while Chausson’s is dark.
“(Rondo) is meant to be sort of a charming piece,” Di Eugenio said. ” It has an overwhelming optimism to it.
“”Poeme’ is quite dark and brooding. I think it’s very much in the line of 19th century German poetry – the whole tortured artist thing. It has a strong sense of dialogue between the violin part and the orchestral part. It’s really quite beautiful, and it’s highly emotionally charged.”
The concert includes “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” one of Paul Dukas’ most famous compositions about a young apprentice learning magic.
The NRO also plays Manuel de Falla’s “Three-cornered Hat Ballet,” which tells the story of an amorous governor who tries to seduce a miller’s wife. The festive mood and strong rhythms in the piece characterize de Falla’s Spanish background.
Saturday’s concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Tickets are $17, $22 and $27 and may be purchased by calling (970) 547-3100.
Event: NRO concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21
Where: Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge
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