Sunday, April 20, 2014

Carnegie Hall Debut

On Easter weekend of 2014, I performed my Carnegie Hall solo debut with two of my closest friends, Dr. Julie Yu and Dr. Joshua Oppenheim, as they conducted the National Festival Chorus.  Technically speaking, the concert wasn't particularly challenging for me - soloist in M.L.K. by Chillcott - but it was a fantastic and unbelievable experience.  Check out some of the photos below...

Ahhhhh, one of my favorite places...New York City - looking toward Radio City Music Hall along Avenue of the Americas (aka 6th Ave)

Chorus Rehearsal in a downtown hotel convention center - not an ideal acoustic, but a great experience none the less

Dr. Joshua Oppenheim and Dr. Julie Yu in front of their poster at Carnegie Hall

Near the Empire State Building

At Bryant Park

Carnegie Hall

Rehearsal at Carnegie

In the Maestro Suite, before the performance
Bryan Pinkall's solo Carnegie Hall debut with the National Festival Chorus

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Back to Work - Learning Life

Upon returning to the states, I had an overwhelming media schedule from newspaper reports, to radio interviews, television appearances, speaking engagements, but most of all, I had to catch up on all the lessons that I missed while in Russia.  As I write this (February of 2015), reflecting on the events of 2014, I can't help but also mention all that I missed writing about in 2013.

Partly due to my own insecurities, it was a difficult two years to be a public person.  I dealt with severe depression, divorce, the rather violent death of a friend, coming out of the closet (while afraid to be "out" in Russia - a notoriously horrible location for LGBT folk), and several rounds of discriminatory actions against me that left me quite helpless to address.   All the while, I had a crazy international performance schedule, trips to the Emmy's and Grammy's, being offered a professorship (at the age of 27!), the Olympic experience, and other surprises like being named Distinguished Kansan of the Year last year by the Topeka Capital Journal.  It was a strange time to describe and live, and I was terrified of dealing with some of these issues in the public light.  It was impossible to avoid being a public person.

So, having settled into a "new normal"  I want to take you through some of the moments that have dotted the last few months.

These balloons greeted me upon my arrival back at K-State on my office door - "Welcome Home Dr. Pinkall"
My new boyfriend Patrick and I visit the Varsity Donut food truck in Manhattan, KS (a foodie's dream!)
Patrick and I take little vacations nearly every week.  Here we are at the top of the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum overlooking Kansas City.
A visit to Kansas City's Union Station
My rather successful attempt at making my Volga German family's favorite dessert - Kuchen - pronounced by them as "Kooguh"
An hilarious hate mail letter sent to me from a pro-Russian person obviously angry that I commented on my poor treatment while in Sochi
A day in the park in Kansas City
On a trip to Western Kansas to teach a masterclass, I stopped in Victoria, KS at the Basilica of the Plains
A purple evening sky in Spring overlooking Anderson Hall at K-State

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