Jacob Greenberg

May 22, 2016

peony season past

The Botanic Garden’s peonies are nearly gone, after a glorious and early bloom. So are most of the spring seasonals, and they appeared in a confluence unlike most springs I’ve seen here…the peonies came with the early cherries and lasted for weeks. Then the tulips, the later cherries, the lilacs, the wisteria, the bluebells, and now the later lilacs, whose shape and smell I’ll never forget.

In other news, my harmonium arrives this week.

August 11, 2015


Three weeks in Portland, Oregon restored some sanity and perspective.  Through the generosity of Susan Smith at Lewis and Clark College, I practiced contentedly for my entire time there.

ICE plays Mostly Mozart this month and then goes back to Brazil–both without me–but we’re all heading to Paris next month.  In Portland I learned the Webern arrangement of Schoenberg’s first Kammersymphonie for the Paris concerts, and I was astonished by the piece’s density, economy, variety, and eccentricity.  Now, I’m reviewing Pierrot Lunaire–it’s been a long time since I played it–and the other scores we’ve programmed for a packed few concerts there, including Gerard Grisey’s amazing Talea.

The woods of the northwest are different than any I’ve spent time in, and different from the Adirondacks, my first love.  When I was in Mount Tabor Park in Portland, where I walked most days this last week, I thought: this is the forest for this time in my life.  It was meant for me for now, and not for any other year.  Of course it’s meant for thousands of other people too, and for longer than I could experience it.


January 22, 2015

words, music

February will be busy in Chicago and elsewhere. ICE plays Elliott Carter’s very last piece, an astonishing piano trio called Epigrams, at a residency at Northwestern where we’re also collaborating with their contemporary ensemble. Also during the residency, I play the Lachenmann Serynade again for the first time after working with the composer, in Italy, last November.

Plus, lots of other performance projects in February, not to mention teaching at the French Lycée in Chicago. Through it all I’m trying to focus on words–writing some monologues with music accompaniment, re-reading some favorite short stories, seeing some theater, and improving my German.

July 14, 2014

Summer sojourn

My schedule for 14-15 is up–more travel than ever, and some places where I’ve wanted to go my whole life.  Dublin and Milan on my own, and back to Brazil and Mexico with ICE.

It was great to be out of the country for July 4, in Toronto specifically–a heavenly week spent with friends and immersed in Debussy Etudes.  I’ll be playing some of them for my next Close Range show, at Spectrum in November.