I’m in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky all this week as Composer in Residence for this amazing festival of chamber music. One of the things I love about people who love chamber music is that they more often than not love really good food, great coffee, great art, and especially here in Lexington, the very finest bourbon on the planet earth. And here these wonderful chamber music lovers of life also have an unhealthy obsession with horses, which is pretty neat for a New York City boy to behold. The Fasig-Tipton Pavilion, the gorgeous main concert hall for the festival, is probably better known here as a place where horses are shown for auction. There is literally-no-joking a ring of hay around the stage for performers who get the munchies. Festival cellist Pricilla Lee was kind enough to supplement that with a ring of croissants (incredibly delicious ones) for us non-horse occupants of the stage. It is truly trippy and wonderful. Both the horses and the musicians relish the great acoustics of the space.
One of the festival’s patrons, and host of the festival’s opening patrons’ party, is renowned artist Andre Pater, whose work is heavily inspired by animals, but in particular, horses and horse culture. Unbeknownst to this New York City composer, Andre is a legend in the horse-minded world, his works selling for huge piles of green. Horse lovers, and horses themselves, faint when he walks in the room. Also, he’s Polish, and I’m starting to put it together that horses are tightly interlinked with the spirit of Poland and Poles, ie. the ill-equipped Polish army went on horseback against Nazi tanks, a terribly tragic suicide mission, with such a poignant majesty to it. It was really special to be out there on Andre’s horse ranch in the Kentucky hills and see his gorgeous works in his beautiful home.