Thomaz Babini Cello Festival, Natal, Brazil

November 17, 2013 by

I have been in Natal, Brazil for a week, during which the incomparable Fabio Presgrave, Natal’s Juilliard trained virtuoso, has organized a cello festival with masterclasses for his talented students, a lecture on the history of cello playing in Natal, and two concerts.  It is a chance for us cellists to indulge shamelessly in shop talk. If you are a cellist, you may know that Yale’s most famous teacher, Aldo Parisot, is from Brazil, but now I know more – - he was born in Natal and began lessons with master cellist (and father-in-law) Thomaz Babini. Here is an early photo of Aldo: 20131113_091827 But of course, its not all seriousness (my colleague Felipe has a phrase that I like: “Just relax, you are in Brasil!”)  In addition to ATC (all things cello) we have visited the largest cashew tree in the world (one whole city block!) 20131113_152701 we’ve eaten like kings:
(did you know about cashew FRUIT? I tried it raw, as a juice, and best of all, in a caipirinha…), and then there’s the beach.  Every morning, I am snapped out of sleep by a determined sun that rises every day at 4am. I try to return to sleep, but usually give up around 6 or 7.  Morning walks on the beach, feet in the water, include views of children playing, surfers, bronzed men and the dental-floss bikinied women. 20131112_143119

7 Responses to Thomaz Babini Cello Festival, Natal, Brazil

  1. christina

    this is great! wow I know nothing about Brazilian “classical” music traditions. I do have a friend from Sao Paulo Brazil who is a violinist, but this is so intriguing. I am glad you’re getting to other cultures! Living the dream Natasha, enjoy and I am excited to hear all of your learnings on pedagogy techniques and differences you find along the way to bring back to New York!!

  2. Adam

    That sounds fabulous! Did you have a chance to try a cashew straight from a tree? What about other exotic nuts and fruits?

    I have a premonition that you gave a spectacular tonight tonight!

    • Natasha Farny Post author

      The cashew fruit was not taken directly from the tree, but the transaction was still somewhat unusual. We were sitting in traffic (patience is nor a virtue, but a necessity with city traffic here) and a cashew fruit street hawker sold it to us, all wrapped in plastic. I have tried also caja (a yellow fruit) and had a passion fruit pudding that I need to try again…. Goiaba (guava) is made into the most magical desserts. One is called Romeo and Juliette, with cream… Mmm.

        • Natasha Farny Post author

          Driving is somewhat challenging here due to the road conditions and the impulsive driving style of some drivers! Many times, we had the right of way down a one-way street, but had to back up bc a driver going the wrong way was not going to stop!

  3. Anne Hooper Webb

    Fantastic! We violinists are jealous! Remember, you can sleep when you come north again. For now, bask, as you are clearly doing! I can practically hear all the cello playing. It is moving to hear of all the enthusiasm. The picture of Aldo Parisot is enchanting. What a memorable experience!

    Love, Annie

  4. Jon Hawes

    Sounds like a great time Tasha, I’m jealous! I remember the first time I had caju and also suco de caja… Yummyness we miss out on in the US. Lucky for me, Monalisa made Pão de Queijo for breakfast today. Safe travels!


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