New Generation Festival-Night II
When my alarm wakes me up, I head to the bathroom to get ready and this time I am not as nervous as I get dressed. I don’t try to leave a bit earlier as I did the night before and I don’t even put as much effort (or time) into getting ready. I just pop out of bed like a toast in a toaster and I am on my way out in a short amount of time.
When I arrive at the Corsini Gardens for the New Generation Festival’s second evening, which is dedicated to several classical music concerts, I spot Ulrike immediately. She is wearing a red dress and standing by a round table with a few other people. I weave my way around to her and she gives me such a warm greeting before introducing me to the women around the table.
One of the ladies is Lisa who has come down from a music competition and is running on two hours of sleep following her long train ride to Florence. The other lady is Ulrike’s friend who arrived with her from Germany and is emphatic in stating that she is not an Angel and is only here in support of her friend. Totally understandable; Ulrike is the organizer of Charlie’s International Angels, a group of people, who actively love and support the violinist, Charlie Siem’s work.
I briefly meet a couple of others before we make our way to our seats and of course it’s my luck that I would be seated on the furthest edge from the stage within my section right against the end railing. I already know as I take a seat that I will not get to see much of Charlie during his performance.
The person who eventually sits beside me is Scot. He is here with his family in support of his brother Andrew who is playing in the orchestra. But before Scot arrives, I see Carly waving at me from the stage as they are warming up and I give her a huge wave back.
The orchestra plays a short set once everyone is seated and after that, as they are tuning their instruments again, I hear this time from the other side of the rail and right below me, a violin joining into the fray. It is the first time I hear Charlie and become aware of him.
First came his violin, then his voice speaking mutedly to whoever is beside him …