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Toby Appel Fun Facts

Q: Where do you get your musical inspiration?
A: Generally speaking, I wake up inspired. I start off excited every day to figure out how to get the best cup of coffee imaginable. After that. its all peaches and cream. I like to work, so if I'm not teaching or rehearsing or practicing (just kidding about that last one), I'll find something to fix or build or I'll shop for dinner. I'm nearly always happiest in the kitchen, chopping and mixing and grating and grilling. I like colors and shapes and flavors. Just as much in food as in music, and one helps build my imagination for the other.

Q: What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
A: I came to music by force. My dad played cello (not too badly for a chicken farmer), and both of my mean sisters played violin. Even on a farm in south jersey that spells string quartet, although perhaps without a U. I had a great teacher in Max Aronoff, and I was his only little kid student, and we got along well. I got good pretty fast, which pissed off my sisters, which made me happy, so I stuck with it. My increased skill set got me off the farm and into Curtis before my 13th birthday, so it all seemed good. That's pretty much the story. I was a stupid kid and it never occurred to me that I could or even should pick what I wanted to do with my life. Don't get me wrong...I love music, and I love teaching, but I suspect I would have chosen something else. You want to know what? Ok. Psychiatry or acting. Yes, really. nbsp;

Q: What are some current projects you are working on?
A: I'm in Chicago at the moment, teaching at Roosevelt university with friend and CC colleague Stefan Hersh, but am heading back to my studio at Juilliard soon to be with my flock there. I'm starting to teach the old fingers the tunes I'll need for summer, and of course, I've got to figure out what's for dinner. I've got some recitals looming and auditions at Juilliard are right around the corner. I've also got two college and three more precollege students needing extra time and help preparing for senior recitals.

Q: What drew you to the Colorado College Summer Music Festival?
A: I love Sue and Michael Grace, and the extension of their warmth and love and support of our CC students pervades every aspect of the festival. The faculty are friends. The faculty/student recital/chamber concerts are incredibly stellar in every way, and Scott is a major force with the orchestra. His musicality and skills and refinement as a musician are very inspiring and a big reason the festival is so successful. The CC campus is beautiful and the city is hugely supportive of the festival. I've found wonderful friends in the Springs and love being a member of the CC family.

Q: What are you most excited for this upcoming festival season?
A: Hard to choose as its all great. But you decide...I'm playing a recital with Sue in Albuquerque end of May, to celebrate the total restoration of my moms gorgeous 1893 Steinway mahogany B. Then it's some time in Santa Fe, where my wife and I will do some work at our property there and visit and yes, cook with dear friends. That is followed by two weeks playing and teaching at CC. Then I'm off to Philadelphia, where I'm teaching for the second summer at the Curtis Summerfest. CC colleague and friend Steve Copes will be there for part of the time too, so we will play together for sure. And eat. Then my wife will join me for two weeks of concerts at the Orcas Island festival on the San Juan island of Orcas. Totally beautiful place with wonderful friends and colleagues. And did I mention food recently? Salmon and the Saturday market, and the best berries and apples, and on and on. And finally, two weeks at Music From Angel Fire. I'm narrating Stravinsky LHistoire, along with Schoenberg Napoleon, and playing too, but I don't know what. Every summer I write and mc the MFAF salon concert, and that is always fun...and stressful, as we put it together in short order. Must mention the perfect New Mexican green chiles, and fresh corn tortillas,and my yearly pot of posole. I'm excited to get my 1971 240z Datsun, Miriam, on the mountain roads, and to fire up the old Taurus, Lucille. The stories about the car names will have to be for another time.

- Toby Appel 2015
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