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Thank You NSO!

I had an amazing time last week performing with the National Symphony Orchestra for kids in the D.C. area! There were so many people at the NSO involved in making these shows a huge success, and I can't wait to do this again in February. I sent the note below to them to give them a sense of my gratitude and excitement to have been involved with their orchestra and community:

 October 19, 2013

To my esteemed colleagues - the musicians of the NSO, my friend and awesome co-host Ankush, the best backstage crew ever, and to my dear friends in management – THANK YOU!

As I’m headed north on Amtrak after our fantastic afternoon show at THE ARC, the whole week is racing though my mind, and all I can think about is how grateful I am to all of you for being so open and welcoming to the vision of this experience which we put on together. This vitally important, MUSICALLY inspired program for children was designed to empower us, the musical craftspeople, to share our love of these experiences guided by tradition that have been imparted to each of us, and which has in turn shaped the world. I personally feel that we did that together this week, and set the stage for more to come!

Even though Ankush and I were the faces of the show, the success of this experience was made possible because of the high caliber of music- making coming from all of you in the orchestra. Your artistry made it possible to virtually bounce the energy off two elements – the use of WORDS, and the undeniable power of MUSIC when played with fervor, conviction, and love! It was all so real! Most notably for me was the concert this afternoon, when the energy coming from the stage at The ARC - this satellite, somewhat unfamiliar venue - was so concentrated and powerful! So GOOD!!

It is safe to say that we have the ingredients to seed the next generation of young people, and to give the gift of make-believe and imagination, in a world where instant gratification rules, and innocence is too often trumped by the information age. And we did it authentically, using the tools we have all spent countless hours perfecting and mastering, and through a channel we know best: the language of music! 

Best part: we get to do it again!!

Thanks again all!

Nicolas Kendall


My First Blog!

Greetings friends! I'm excited to be writing my first blog on my new site. Right now my site is offering the bare essentials for me to communicate to you (via my blog, and twitter @nicolaskendall), and for you to communicate with me (via the contact page here on the site). I'm in the beginning stages of rolling out my own projects, so as I build content I'll be making this site more robust. Until then, consider this a place to find out what I'm up to, my personal thoughts and antidotes, and of course, a whole lot of fun stuff I'm doing with the groups I play in: Time for Three (Tf3), East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and the Dryden Quartet. 

I'm timing the launch of my new site with an event that is both meaningful and personal to me: I've been spending this week in my hometown, Washington D.C., where I spent most of my formative years. I actually lived with my family in Silver Spring, MD - a D.C. suburb. This Sunday, May 19th, I will be part of a show produced by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. The concert is the premier of a fully staged show based on the children's book "The Cricket in Times Square" by George Sheldon. I will play (as a violinist) Chester, the Cricket! The score to the show is written by my dear friend, Chris Brubeck (who wrote me an awesome violin concerto a few years back). Read my recent blog entry for the NSO at the bottom of this blog.

More on why this show is special to me: Some of the best memories I have as a kid are of coming to the Kennedy Center for various concerts and shows. Being back in D.C.  working with the National Symphony is such a homecoming for me - I grew up listening to this orchestra, and my fist time playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto was with the NSO (I also took part in a show playing the part of a rogue fiddle-weilding janitor for New Years Eve. That was crazy!) The thing that excites me most about this coming weekend is that I have an opportunity to inspire children (and the next generation of creative minds) in the same way that inspired me to become a musician. 

Even before I attended concerts at the Kennedy Center, my introduction to music was from playing games, being inventive, and using my imagination to tell stories with my music. My budding creativity was nurtured through the Suzuki Method, which is the foundation for everything I am now as an artist. In the same way that I started learning to be creative, I am now able to give back through the language of music and storytelling by being part of "The Cricket in Times Square". Together with the NSO, we can give the gift of musical inspiration to all of the young ears who come to experience our world this weekend!  - NK (5/17/13)