william wolfram tackles 10 questions

surprise!  you’ll be filling in this weekend for the originally scheduled soloist who had to call off sick.  what’s it like being a classical pinch hitter?

It’s odd because I know Jeff Kahane quite well and I’ve had mono and it’s terrible.  I wish him all the best.  I also love doing “jump-ins.”  It’s a unique kind of pressure that I’ve always found rewarding!

you’ll be playing mozart’s piano concerto #24 with the symphony this weekend – how would you describe this piece to someone who doesn’t listen to much classical music?

Perfection, invention, intimate, expansive, strong, supple… indescribably effortless genius.

do you prepare differently for a performance of mozart than, let’s say, for a rough-and-tumble rachmaninoff concerto?


why is the piano so aweome?

There is no other instrument that can encompass the scope or range of what a piano can achieve; however, other instruments have a much greater “personality of sound.” 

what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

If one is looking for a potentially visceral reaction… live is for you.  Just like attending sports live vs. television.

in regards to your ability to perform, you once said in an interview: “You learn your neurosis, how to make it work for you” – can you say more about that?

As you live longer, you learn how to deal with situations and how to help yourself… perhaps something odd or off center will help you in your goal.  You learn to know yourself.

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

Hendricks Martini, one olive, half a teaspoon of dry vermouth.  Can you take the “if” out of the question?

what composer really rocks your world?

So many do.  Shostakovich, Scriabin, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Messiaen to name a few.

what is your guilty pleasure in the world of pop music? 

There is no guilt involved… Old stuff… Cream, STONES, Motown (Supremes, Jr. Walker, Otis Redding), some disco era… Alicia Bridges, Donna Summer and tons more.

any thoughts as to what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras?

I will be able to give a much better answer after playing with the symphony, since this is my first time with them.  I have worked with the Maestro… an experience that was rich!!  I’ve also played chamber music with concertmaster Jun Iwasaki, a great violinist and a great guy!


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