February 11, 2010

Love is in the Air! Meet the Orchestra Newlyweds

This past summer featured several weddings in the Orchestra: Concertmaster Juliana Athayde and Principal Oboe Erik Behr, Principal Flutist Rebecca Gilbert and her new husband Gavin Rigg, and Violinist Liana Koteva and Cellist Lars Kirvan. With Valentine’s Day coming up, we checked in with the newlyweds to see what their first six months of married life have been like.

Juliana & Erik:

First off, tell us about your wedding day.
September 5, 2009 was a beautiful late summer day in California. We were married in the San Francisco bay area where Juliana's family lives. The afternoon wedding ceremony was at St. Albert's Priory in Oakland followed by a reception at the Orinda Country Club. We are both Catholic and had a full Catholic mass given by close family friend, Father Bob Fabing, the same priest who married Juliana's parents over 30 years ago and baptized Juliana and her three siblings!

The music for the ceremony was glorious (Brahms, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Bach, Mendelssohn, and Mozart to name a few) and was performed by Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster (and Juliana's former teacher), William Preucil; cellist sibling Gabrielle Athayde; Juliana's first violin teacher, Dorothy Lee; pianist and close musical friend Miles Graber; and RPO colleague Wesley Nance on trumpet (wife Shannon Nance was a bridesmaid!). The music alone captured so much of the love and emotion we felt that day.

The wedding party included all of Juliana's siblings, Erik's oldest brother Rolf, and a handful of close friends from around the country. Not all of Erik's family was able to travel from South Africa but his mother, brother, and cousin fit right in with the Athayde family and the couple's mutual friends. The dinner reception (complete with heartfelt toasts by Juliana's father, Erik's brother/best man, Rolf, and a pre-dinner prayer by Father Bob) included all 100 guests and great live music provided by Juliana's father's commercial band, Surefire. Juliana's dad even sat in on a few tunes, along with her brother (Juilliard jazz student, Kyle), and sang the couple's last dance of the evening "You Are So Beautiful."

Surrounded by family and our closest friends, our wedding day was the most amazing and memorable moment we've shared so far and we can't wait for the ones yet to come. Our two-week honeymoon to Kauai and Maui just after the wedding was the perfect way to start our married life together.

So, how is married life treating you, and how is it different from being engaged?
We are truly enjoying marriage - much more fun than engagement! Our engagement was a wonderful year-long courtship when we spent time getting to know each other on an even deeper level. As was reported in one of last year's RPO blogs, we were engaged in September 2008 on a luxury game reserve in South Africa, during a month-long visit with Erik's family in Cape Town. With such an exciting and interesting tale for the engagement, we knew we needed time to plan the perfect wedding. We didn't live together before we were married so that has been an enjoyable new experience. We have found that our 2,200-sq.-ft. apartment in the Park Avenue area provides ample room for simultaneous violin and oboe practicing! Instead of spending extra time together at restaurants around town (as we used to do when dating and engaged), we now enjoy cooking together at home and entertaining friends.

What was the most unusual wedding gift you received?
One of the most meaningful gifts we received was from Juliana's paternal grandparents. They gave us handmade pillowcases, embroidered originally by her great-grandmother who had given them to her grandparents as a wedding gift over 60 years ago! Erik's maternal grandmother gave us the beautiful diamond that sits in Juliana's ring. With it she gave us her blessing when we were engaged in Cape Town during our 2008 visit. Hopefully someday we will be passing these family heirlooms on to our grandchildren.

Another beautiful gift came from Father Bob Kennedy (from the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Rochester) with whom we did our Pre-Cana sessions. He gave us a handmade South American nativity scene which we proudly displayed in our home over the holidays.

Of course the gift of music which so many friends and family provided on our wedding day will live in our memories forever. Thankfully, we have a video of the wedding ceremony so we can always remember their beautiful performances and the emotions of the day.

Who takes longer to get dressed before a concert, and do you arrive together or in separate cars?
Definitely Juliana takes longer to get dressed - the men get to wear the same outfit every night! But, since living together, our schedules have synched and we are making the planet greener one concert at a time by taking just one car to work.

What is it like being married and working together?
We feel so lucky to work together as musicians. It was important to both of us to find life partners who not only understood but shared our passion for music. We seem to have exceeded our expectations! Not only do we get to perform together on a daily basis, as Concertmaster and Principal Oboe, we have the unique experience of communicating, collaborating, and creating through our distinct solo and leadership roles within the orchestra. What better way to express our love to one another without words?

How are you planning on spending your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple?
Although it is not often the case, we won't actually be working on Valentine's Day. Instead we'll be cooking together in a kitchen full of wedding gifts! We'll probably light some candles, listen to some jazz, set the table with our wedding china, and enjoy some bubbly using our engraved toasting champagne flutes.


Rebecca & Gavin:

First off, tell us about your wedding day.
We had a glorious day. It started out rainy, which was a challenge because we were scheduled for an outdoor ceremony. After an hour delay, the steady rain turned to a light drizzle and we began the ceremony. Just as we finished saying our vows, the clouds parted and the sun shone through for an especially dramatic effect. If all that weren't enough of a good luck omen, we also had a visitation from a great blue heron who flew overhead during the ceremony.

According to North American Native tradition, the Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance and represents an ability to progress and evolve. Blue Herons have the innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and co-create their own circumstances. It is said that those with the Medicine of the Great Blue Heron may sit until the rest of us lose patience. And, when they choose to follow the promptings of the heart, they are one of the most magnificent when they soar.

So, how is married life treating you, and how is it different from being engaged?
Married life is great. We were engaged for only 3 months which was spent planning the wedding. Since then, we have found out that we are expecting a baby boy, so now we are planning for the great adventure of parenting. We are on the fast track. With as long as it took for us to find each other, we didn't want to wait a moment longer to get on with all the other dreams on our wish list.

What was the most unusual wedding gift you received?
We got so many wonderful gifts, but the most unusual was the gift of a traditional English "Good Luck” Wedding Horseshoe from Gavin's cousin Jane. It is a Clydesdale-sized silver-plated extravaganza which the bride is meant to wear hanging from her arm during the ceremony. Unfortunately, it didn't arrive from England in time for the ceremony, but we'll take the good luck.

For RPO concerts, do you arrive together or in separate cars?
Gavin attends as many concerts as he can. When he does, he acts as my chauffeur which is one of the many benefits of married life. I feel very safe being chauffeured by a certified performance driving instructor.

How are you planning on spending your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple?
We are going to spend it together.


Liana & Lars:

First off, tell us about your wedding day.
Our wedding took place on August 28th in Rochester, NY. We could not have asked for a better wedding—85 of our closest family and friends from all over the U.S. and Europe joined us on our special day to celebrating our love!

So, how is married life treating you, and how is it different from being engaged?
Married life is great—not much different than being engaged, we could not be happier together!

What was the most unusual wedding gift you received?
Both of our parents gave us similar sculptures in different styles, but virtually the same without prior discussion!

Who takes longer to get dressed before a concert, and do you arrive together or in separate cars?
We always go together, and as to who takes longer to get ready....I think it's a tie...

What is it like being married and working together?
It's great being on the same work schedule—gives us even more time to spend together....

How are you planning on spending your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple?
We are planning on going to Virginia for the few days off we have, so we'll spend it traveling and having dinner at a "surprise" location.

2 comments:

請看 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
digital marketer said...

Your blog really very fantastic and all the information are very awesome and great it's really interesting all the topic about the work motivation.Click here