Rapid heart beats and good people | VailDaily.com

Rapid heart beats and good people

Cassie Pence
Bret Hartman/bhartman@vaildaily.com From left: Members of the Rossetti Quartet Tim Fain, violin, Thomas Diener, viola, Eric Gaenslen, cello, and Henry Gronnier, violin, rehearse with Emily Rome, one of Bravo!'s young artist in residence.
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Although the life of a classical musician appears quite glamorous, jet-setting to Italy and Japan, or spending a month in the Vail Valley, the Rossetti String Quartet says it is actually very hard work.”People don’t realize how much work is involved. We work very, very hard,” said Thomas Diener, who plays viola and is one of the quartet’s founders.”A lot of the time we’re trapped in a hotel room practicing,” Tim Fain, violinist, said. “The hotel might as well be a cage, you’re working so hard.”The musicians escape some of the time during work trips to see the sights of Europe or hike Vail Mountain, capping off a tour with a couple of free days.”Sometimes you just want two more days at home,” Eric Gaenslen, who plays cello in the quartet, said.”We are very privileged,” added Henry Gronnier, violinist and one of the founding members of the quartet. “The people who organize Bravo! treat us amazingly. We feel so welcome here.”Gronnier was born in Saint-Quentin, France, and when asked what he liked to do when not playing music he answered in a French accent, “My life is what you see right here,” hugging and kissing a light-brown Chihuahua, Greta, named after Greta Garbo. The tiny canine serves as the quartet’s lovable unofficial mascot.

When Diener was young, he had to choose whether to pursue visual arts or music. He chose music, but practices visual arts as a hobby. He is currently restoring and tiling his 1920s Spanish home in Los Angeles.”For LA, it’s like the Parthenon,” Diener said, referring to the home’s age. “I am a very visual arts person. The house restoration is a great project. It is like painting with tile.”Fain, who resides in New York, plans to rent a mountain bike and try out some world-class trails while in Vail. He also is going to cook dinner for some friends in the New York Philharmonic. Fain and Gaenslen have rented a condo in town during their residency at Bravo!Gronnier and Diener ate at a couple of valley restaurants during their down time, including La Bottega in Vail.”I had the best sabayon I’ve ever tasted,” Gronnier said.Diener prefers mountain activities from a home’s deck.”I’m not a big physical person. Jumping to conclusions is my biggest physical activity,” Diener said. “I prefer to look out a window at the mountains with cigarette in hand.”

DIener said that he’s feeling altitude’s effects.”The altitude effects you in different ways. I’m experiencing rapid heart beats,” Diener said.The altitude also effects the music. It can sometimes help the music, Gronnier said.”Your vibrato may become faster, or tempo a little bit quicker,” Diener said.”Everything becomes more intense,” Fain said.Even little Greta is acting a little more manic than usual.

Chamber musicRossetti String QuartetToday, 6 p.m., Vilar Center in Beaver CreekMonday, 12:30 p.m., Vail Interfaith ChapelWednesday, 6 p.m., Vilar Center in Beaver CreekFor more information, contact (877)-812-5700