This past weekend, I had the pleasure of playing with the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Camerata Chicago. Our soloists were the Beethoven Project Trio. I wanted to give a brief shout-out to the amazing professionalism and flexibility that these musicians displayed during the rehearsal process. I was blown away not only by their playing — which was stunning — but also by their smiles, their sense of humor, their kindness toward the orchestra, and their clear enthusiasm for this music and for the rehearsal process. As a chamber musician myself, I really enjoyed observing their interactions together: the serious and focused way that they studied the score during rehearsal, their “huddles” when something wasn’t going quite perfectly.

As I listened to them play during our Saturday evening concert, I was struck by the crystal-clear understanding of just how hard these people have worked in order to sound the way they do. The mastery and freedom that was on display is the result of years and years of work and sacrifice. When we delight in that AMAZING (let’s face it, sexy) closing theme of the third movement, we are enjoying the fruits of all that labor. (Not to mention Beethoven’s work in creating the piece in the first place.) It may seem simple and straightforward (especially being a musician who’s practiced my fair share). But in that moment, I simply couldn’t take their work for granted. I was profoundly grateful for it.