Rindt to debut original music this weekend

‘Patrick Rindt & Friends’ reunites talented siblings for their first performance together in 20 years

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Rindt to debut original music this weekend“There’s a reason we all ended up as musicians,” said Darcy Rindt, one of three siblings in an extended family of beloved local musicians.

“They say that your siblings have more of an impact on you than anyone else in your life,” she said. So apart from the unquantifiable natural talent embedded in the Rindt genes, growing up in a family where music was a critical part of her everyday life left an indelible mark.

The accomplished performer and composer is returning to her hometown this weekend to help launch new music written by her brother, Patrick, who will perform with “Patrick Rindt & Friends” this weekend at United Methodist Church.

“This is the first time we have played together in more than 20 years,” said Patrick. “She’s basically a rock star-violist now, so the only way I could get her to perform here with me these days was to write a piece for us to play together.”

(More details about Patrick’s journey toward composing, and his collaborations with other local musicians, can be found on Facebook.com/PatrickRindt.)

While Patrick’s early career was somewhat truncated by unconventional circumstances — including his eschewing the concert-pianist circuit in favor of starting a family, and turning to classical composition as a way to reconnect with the piano after suffering a debilitating injury — Darcy’s identity as a musician developed comparatively late.

Like her younger brother, Darcy excelled in nearly everything she attempted, from academics to athletics to music, during her early schooling.

“I remember our parents always being very supportive of our opportunities, but I don’t remember ever feeling pushed into anything,” said Darcy. “I know that there was a time when I thought about giving up violin lessons, but my mom encouraged me to keep it up.”

So she did. Soon thereafter she experienced, as a young teen, a transformative moment that revealed how deeply her musical passions ran. “It was when I was watching ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ believe it or not, that I was struck by how powerful music could be.”

But even after graduating from Burroughs in 1991 (when she was voted by her peers as most likely to succeed), she chose to attend University of California, Santa Cruz, with the intent to pursue a degree in marine biology.

Darcy was still playing, though she had switched from violin to viola as her primary instrument and was taking lessons from the concert master of the San Francisco Ballet orchestra.

“I was very fortunate to have such a strong teacher, even though Santa Cruz was not predominantly a music school. About halfway through my sophomore year, I realized how strongly I felt about music.”

She graduated in 1995 with her degree in music, and her brother accompanied her on piano for her senior recital. It was the last time the two would play together in public.

In the ensuing 20 years, Darcy continued her education and traveled all over the country as a performer.

On top of her more traditional gigs as a classical musician, she also started a quartet called “Squid Inc.” that features her original compositions and arrangements — fusing together rock and alternative themes to classical music.

Perhaps her most significant work to date is a tribute to the 19 firefighters who died in 2013 while battling a massive wildfire in Arizona. On the strength of that piece, one of the directors of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra commissioned another piece from her.

Earlier this year, Darcy’s reputation as an artist put her on the radar of the national touring company for the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton,” and she was recruited to play viola and violin in the pit.

“This has been a really remarkable experience — the audience reaction to this show is incredible,” she said. “I’m so grateful that this musical is helping sustain the interest in live music for people of all ages.”

People frequently express surprise to learn the show is accompanied by live musicians. “They say, ‘It sounds too good!’ I know that’s a compliment, but it also tells me that people no longer equate music to musicians.

“One of the great things about this show, though — in addition to the wonderful story and energy it brings to theater — is that we are able to introduce live music to a new generation of people.”

Both Darcy and Patrick note that the viola is deliberately constructed to have a muted sound, giving the instrument a critical role in holding together ensembles.

“Maybe playing a lot of team sports growing up is why I was so comfortable with the viola,” said Darcy. “In both settings you are there primarily to support the team. As a violist, I am there to help other people sound their best.”

That role will shift significantly this weekend, when she closes the program with a duet with Patrick.

Patrick had originally composed the Sonata in G minor for left-hand piano and clarinet. But the similar ranges, and expressive qualities, of the viola and clarinet made it easy to adapt the piece for the two of them.

“I love the sound of the viola, but when Darcy plays this piece she does not sound constrained to that inner, muted voice of the orchestra,” said Patrick.

“The viola has a beautiful, rich sound, but Darcy brings so much skill and personality into making it a solo instrument.”

“I love that Patrick uses the whole range of the instrument,” said Darcy. “The viola has a low register that is more soulful, but a lot of composers are afraid to use the upper range.”

It’s also exciting to have such a piece to add to her repertoire, she said. “Honestly, there’s just not that much music written for piano and viola — especially not anything like this.

“If you look at what has been composed in the 20th century, there’s not much written in the romantic style. His piece is beautiful, lyrical and emotional.

“I love having something like this I can play on the viola, and what a great experience to get to perform it with my brother.”

Performances will be held Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available for $25 each (reduced to $20 for seniors, military and youth) at Cosner-Neipp Corp. and at the door.

Pictured: Musical siblings Darcy and Patrick Rindt will share the stage this weekend in their first performance together in more than two decades. -- Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2017-11-10