Kennedy Center Performance Unites Professor with Daughter
OGDEN, Utah – Diana Page is holding a family reunion of sorts on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Page, director of keyboard studies in the Department of Performing Arts at Weber State University, will perform a Brahms sonata for piano and violin as part of the Millennium Stage chamber music recital on June 15. Joining her on stage for the duet will be her daughter, Julia Grueninger, who is the principal second violin for the Kennedy Center’s Washington Opera Orchestra.
“She and I have lived on opposite sides of the country for years and have never had the chance to play together,” Page said. They had discussed performing a duet for several years, but scheduling conflicts arose. Last Christmas, Grueninger suggested they try to schedule something for 2003. By February they had decided on the piece to perform and then six weeks ago they learned of the exact date of the concert.
“When I got the call from Julia telling me it was going to happen, I was flattered,” said Page. "I said, 'What can I pay you for this opportunity?'"
She soon discovered there was an actual cost. The musicians’ union in Washington, D.C., which helps find performers for the Millennium Stage concert series, insisted she join the union prior to taking the stage.
Another challenge is that the physical distance between mother and daughter leaves them limited time to practice together. Page will arrive in D.C. only five days before the concert.
"We selected this sonata because we are both familiar with it—I know it inside out," Page said. Even so, Page admits she’s nervous about performing it on the Kennedy Center stage before a crowd of 400. This will be her first time to perform at that venue.
The performance will be simulcast live on the Kennedy Center’s web site, and a digital recording will be available for viewing on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage web page at http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/archive.html.
The Millennium Stage was launched in 1997 as part of the Performing Arts for Everyone Initiative and attracts some 400 people every day to catch performances at 6 p.m. After a year of daily free performances in the Kennedy Center's Grand Foyer, the outreach initiative expanded to include Millennium Stage performances on the U.S. Capitol grounds in the summer of 1998. The Millennium Stage became the Kennedy Center’s pioneer project for presenting performances on the Internet, including live hour-long broadcasts.