jason schooler tackles 10 questions

*we probably all have our own ways of marking seasonal changes.  the falling of colored leaves is a definite sign that autumn is here.  a shroud of misty darkness at 4pm surely means winter in the northwest.  cheap, local, organic asparagus may cause the spontaneous humming of “springtime for hitler” in one’s head.  personally, i know summer is right around the corner when jason schooler has finally shaved off that majestic brahmsian beard he has been cultivating for months.

what is your connection to the oregon symphony?

I am a musician in the orchestra and I play the doublebass.

why is your instrument so awesome?

Because it just is; and my dad can beat-up your dad, so there.

what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

There is no suitable substitute for the live musical experience – it is impossible to experience the excitement and real connection that you feel when you’re sitting in the concert hall with the hundreds or thousands of fellow audience members sharing a common “moment” with the real live musicians on stage.  You become part of the music making and part of the experience.  Even if you went to three consecutive nights at the concert hall at which the orchestra played the exact same program, each night would be its own unique and thrilling experience that you could enjoy nowhere else, and at no other time.

do you have a favorite orchestral work this season?

I am really looking forward to the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with Yo-Yo Ma.  Not only will Yo-Yo be playing, but he’ll be playing one of the most exciting, powerful, and moving pieces in the repertoire.

what’s the deal with the tuxedos – do you own or rent?

I own my tux and believe all the other guys own theirs as well.

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

I’d probably be an engineer.  I was seriously considering that route in high school.  Either that or I’d try to make it in pro soccer.

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

Maybe a glass of red wine, or mango flavored thai iced tea.

what composer really rocks your world?

J. S. Bach.  What a genius, and his love for and praise to God is so beautifully expressed in his music.  His music speaks to my heart in a powerful way.

are you stoked by any non-classical music?

Yes, and I am not stoked about some classical music.  I am fond of gospel/bluegrass, jazz, and folk music.

what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras?

It’s hard to describe.  What sets us apart are the same things that set Portland apart from other cities.  We have an energy, a dynamic, and a sound that is ours and that no other orchestra has.  We are the Oregon Symphony, and you have to hear it to understand it.  Also, we have audience members like yourself who are excited about the music we are playing and show an enthusiasm and appreciation that, in my experience with orchestras in other cities, is unrivaled.  Thank you for that.  It’s great to be a part of it!


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