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  • karinegaribova

Joy of Chamber Music

Happy Labor Day to all! The hot, relaxing, yet fun days of summer are over, and now we all, I hope, are reenergized, ready to dive into our fall schedules.


I lived through a great joy in my violin studio in August. Working with my students, from ages six to sixteen, their parents and siblings, we put together a chamber music program that was performed at the Manitou Art Center. I am not sure if the kids can appreciate that some of them are growing up in musical families -- they may take it for granted.


Writing this, I am slightly envious.


I grew up in a family of engineers. My Dad, aged 85, is still working in metallurgy. As a child, Dad completed seven music school classes and, when gatherings of family and friends got ‘cheerful’, enjoying each other’s wonderful company (and adult beverages!), he would play a few Armenian tunes on the piano.


My Mom also worked as an engineer ‘til she decided to sacrifice her career, so she could take me to the music school across the city (that would be subject for a separate article); she returned to the industry when I got older. Mom had a very good ear and clean, high voice. I remember she always sung the same couple of tunes in Armenian when she was happy; she said they were the ones Grandma sang. As a student, I had to practice 24/7 (of course!), and when I stopped, she yelled “Karina, keep playing! Play in tune!”, with no clue what in tune actually meant, but just in case.



My brother, however, was traumatized by all the violin, piano and music school experiences in our house. (Later, as a father, he said his daughters will go into music “over his dead body”.) He graduated from a quite challenging, high-end aviation college in Moscow. School was like a vacation to him, he was skiing EVERY DAY during winter finals and still getting all straight A’s. Meanwhile, I was spending days in the music library, nights studying textbooks, and above all, practicing violin like a slave. Nope, I am not the smart one in the house. :-)


So, no, we didn’t get together as a family to play. But I made it up by choosing chamber music performance and teaching as a career path, and my fellow musicians and students are my musical family now.


I hope you all enjoy these excerpts from our chamber music gathering on August 14, 2022 at the Manitou Arts Center.


Please follow my blog to learn about future “musical gatherings!”



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