alicia didonato paulsen tackles 10 questions

what is your connection to the oregon symphony?

I am the Assistant Principal flutist as well as the second flutist.  So, most of the time I am playing second, but occasionally I will cover for Dave Buck on principal.

why is your instrument so awesome?

It doubles as a weapon in times of need.

what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

You get a rush of sound, emotion, and fervor that you simply cannot experience from the stereo.  It’s the same reason why we all love to see our favorite bands live!  Also, sharing a listening experience with 2000 other people is quite dramatic.  It’s a way of deeply connecting with our fellow humans.

did you have a favorite orchestral work this season?

Well, I’m still on a high from the delicious performance of Zukerman and Forsyth; I also loved our opening concert with Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, and Chris Thile; Age of Anxiety with Kirill Gerstein; Yefim Bronfman’s stunning Bartok; and I have a soft spot for Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.

any differences between the saturday-sunday-monday performances?

I always find that I like Sunday night’s the best!

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

I would probably throw myself into being a small scale, organic veggie farmer. With chickens.  And turkeys.  And goats.  And ducks.  Once we buy property here, I have grand plans to turn my backyard into a bastion of self sufficiency, replete with cute, bug-eating animals!

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

I do love our Oregon pinots.  I’m also a fan of local beer, especially from Laurelwood.  And in the morning, get me Justin Kagan’s stellar local roasts! His decaf is beyond compare!

what composer really rocks your world?

Shostakovich.  Prokofiev.  Beethoven.  Yum, yum, yum.

are you stoked by any non-classical music?

Yes!  I have new favorites week to week.  Right now I am intrigued by Joanna Newsom.  Last week was Martha Wainwright.  And I am always happy to find ACDC on the radio.

what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras?

There’s a beautiful sense of community and partnership among the musicians; I especially feel this in the wind section.  We work very hard to bring you the best product possible.  Also, we are blessed to have Carlos to whip us into shape!

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