somehow, the classical beaver has yet to have a cellist tackle 10 questions – a grievous blunder that will be corrected immediately. many thanks to mr. scott for the great responses… and bonus points for the sweet pic as well! the beave sincerely hopes you will be pulling out that bow tie for carnegie.
so, what’s your connection to the band?
I have been a cellist in the Oregon Symphony since 1973, when it was the Portland Symphony. We played in the Civic Auditorium, rehearsed at night, Larry Smith was the conductor, and my salary was about $3200 a year. We did have 10 cellos in the section.
ah, 1973… a very good year. chinese year of the ox… very strong. hey, what makes the cello awesome?
It is just the right size for me, I love the mellow, middle range, and it is both a solo and a bass instrument.
what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?
It is not perfect. It is a group activity created with the participation of the audience, performers, composers, weather, politics, economy, and the entire gestalt of the place and the moment.
kick-ass answer ~ thanks! hey, any favorite pieces this classical season?
Brahms’ 2nd Piano Concerto with Emmanuel Ax and Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony with Carlos. I also enjoyed our performances with Yuja Wang and Yo-Yo Ma. Vaughan Williams’ 4th Symphony and the Britten Sinfonia da requiem here and in New York are also great favorites of mine.
if i were to buy you a drink, what would you order?
Either a dark belgian beer or a hot pepper Margarita.
¡arriba, indeed! jeff “do” work has talked about how trumpet-playing has given him an underbite – has playing the cello physically changed your body in some way?
I have to go to the gym regularly to counteract the asymmetrical nature of playing. I also have some invisible but strong calluses on the fingers of my left hand and very strong wrists.
this will be my fifth trip to nyc next month, and I’m determined to finally leave manhattan for a day. what would you recommend i do in brooklyn?
First walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for the fantastic view, then head to the Brooklyn Museum for its great collection of Egyptian art. In Manhattan, I am going to visit *the elevated park.
oh, i remember reading an article about this park – would love to check it out now that you remind me. okay, if you could take 3 composers out to dinner, who would you choose and where would you go?
A. Bach to the Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco for some great beer.
B. Marin Marais to the best place I could afford and let him talk about playing viola da gamba.
C. Jenkins, Lawes, and Simpson to our house to play viol consort music after a home cooked dinner.
anything excite you in the world of pop music these days?
No, but I do like Miles Davis, Art Tatum, Fats Waller, and other classic jazz.
fair enough. and the beaver does love it some art tatum every now and again. okay, last question: what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras and what changes stick out since ‘73?
What has changed for me is being one of the youngest players to now being one of the oldest, which is great as I get to hear wonderful new colleagues. We also have a very loyal and supportive city. People are very interested and impressed when I tell them I play in the symphony. I think it is pretty obvious that we sound a lot better than we used to. We also use a lot less vibrato in Beethoven and earlier works!
thanks again tim… see you on the high line sometime soon!