jeffrey work tackles 10 questions

what is your connection to the oregon symphony?

I’ve been the orchestra’s Principal Trumpet for three plus years now.  I lead the trumpet section; some would say I’m supposed to lead the brass section as well.  My approach is to be a ‘first among equals’ who feels no need to be first all the time.

why is your instrument so awesome?

Its heroic nature is awesome to me, but I really like the fact that it can do so many things.  People think of it, usually, in terms of the loud stuff… you know, marching band and all that.  But I feel the trumpet can be an extremely beautiful and expressive instrument too.

what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

As a performer, it’s amazing.  When an orchestra really builds up a head of steam, it’s such a thrill, especially when you can feel the crowd being caught up in it with you.  For audience members, I think it’s great because concerts are one of the few remaining experiences where large numbers of people come together to quietly experience something together.  I guess it’s similar to being at Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox in person, as opposed to seeing a game on television.  There’s just something about live music…

do you have a favorite orchestral work this season?

I really enjoyed Shostakovich 6 earlier this season and am looking forward to Mahler 1 on our final program.  Mahler’s 1st may well have been the piece which truly hooked me on classical music.  It’s so full of emotion.  It’s so full of color.  It’s so full of character.  It’s very full of trumpet as well…

how do you feel at the end of a concert?

Well that really depends on the concert.  In many cases, the answer would be, “Exhausted, and, wide awake.”

if you weren’t a musician, what profession would you choose?

Since music chose me in many ways, maybe the question should be what other profession might choose me.  The answer is simple.  I haven’t any idea.

if i were to buy you a drink, what would you order?

I’m not much of a drinker, but I’m happy I’ve landed in the land of good pinot noirs.  Formerly I lived in Boston and enjoyed a well poured Guinness or two!

what composer really rocks your world?

I still love Gustav Mahler’s music–even the pieces which aren’t as heavy on the trumpet as the First Symphony.

are you stoked by any non-classical music?

Outside of classical, I lean toward jazz.  I’m especially partial to the great jazz singers of the past.

what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras?

A few things… I think we try to play very expressively when sometimes other orchestras are a little more cookie-cutter in their approach.  We have a mutually respectful relationship with our management, which is unfortunately less common than it really ought to be.  And, for the most part, I think we have a good time at work.  We get along and enjoy making music together. Unfortunately, that too is a bit less common than it ought to be!


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