Roaming After Rome

Lead Pencil studio durring Trustee's Week
Lead Pencil studio durring Trustee’s Week.

The past few whirlwind days have been the culmination of our time at the Academy—a.k.a. Trustee’s Week—devoted to guided walks and lectures by scholars, a dance presentation by Molissa Fenley, open studios from artists and architects, readings by Junot Diaz (read by John Guare) and Sarah Manguso, and the final concert featuring the work of the two composer fellows.

Although we don’t officially get kicked out of the building until August 1, the year’s activities are over and the long dinner table in the jasmine-scented courtyard becomes shorter daily as fellows and residents trickle back home.

Lead Pencil studio durring Trustee's Week
Yotam Haber, Daniel Mihalyo, and Annie Han in Trastevere.

The very last crop of residents have arrived, including John Corigliano and Mark Adamo, staying for a few weeks and giving us a half-hearted illusion that our year is still chugging along like it always was. Rome is now becoming hot, humid and full of tourists—so many that one thinks twice before descending from our serene Gianicolo hill down into reality.

It has been an extraordinary year; challenging, sometimes maddening, ultimately costing me a relationship back home. But it was also incredibly intense, gratifying, and unforgettable. Every day and every meal was an experience, both culinarily and intellectually, as I encountered scholars and artists that opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, of seeing, of hearing, of learning.

Lead Pencil studio durring Trustee's Week
Yotam Haber at the premiere of his Death will come and she shall have your eyes.
Listen to an excerpt.

In the next two months I’ll be working on several new commissions, giving a lecture about my music in Umbria, traveling for performances of my string quartet in Venice and Sardegna, and taking the opportunity to see some European cities I’ve never seen before. I know that I’ve built lasting, extraordinary friendships, and created ties to a magical city that will remain with me for a lifetime.

Arrivederci.

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