emily cole tackles 10 questions

gentle beaver reader, let us turn now to one of our own rockstar fiddlers: emily cole.  you might remember her from *an end-of-season post last year.  maybe?  well, it was so great talking with her then, i decided she simply must tackle a full set of ten questions.  she agreed…

so e-dawg, what’s been the biggest surprise since joining the oregon symphony last season?

I think I speak for all of the new(ish) players in the orchestra when I say what a welcoming and friendly orchestra the OSO is.  It’s a joy to come to work in such a pleasant and inspiring environment.

sweet!  um, why is the violin so awesome?

I’m quite partial to the violin repertoire; we have such great solo, orchestral, and chamber music literature.  That’s what makes the practice time pay off!  And then there’s the non-classical realm: Irish fiddle, bluegrass, etc… That’s a whole different level of awesome!

so you’re stoked by more than just classical music?

Oh yes.  I pretty much love it all, and some of my musical tastes border on the embarrassing.  If you looked at my iPod, you’d probably think it was jointly owned by a 16-year-old girl and a 70-year-old man.

any favorite works coming up this season?

Stravinksy’s Rite of Spring and Janacek’s Sinfonietta are two of my very favorite pieces, and I’ll be playing both for the first time!  Also, a true confession: I am seriously pumped for the ABBA tribute band playing with us in January.  Don’t judge.

you didn’t tell me your 70-year-old man was gay!  so besides the swedish tribute bands, what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

Performing classical music is very much a high-wire act.  It’s all so delicately balanced, and it demands a staggering amount of concentration and physical control from the performers onstage.  It takes a lot of people, preparation, and resources to make an orchestral performance happen.  When all of the elements come together in a live performance…you just can’t replicate that tension!  It’s a beautiful thing.

beautiful indeed!  so if i were to buy you a drink, what would you order?

If we were at *Andina, I would order the Sacsayhuaman (habanero pepper vodka, passionfruit puree, and cane sugar)!  Happiness in a glass.  If we were anywhere that was not Andina, I’d probably order some variety of tasty local beer.

hey, how come fiddlers in the oregon symphony switch violin sections all the time?  i’m concerned this is abnormal…

It’s actually not normal, and it’s one of the aspects of playing in the Oregon Symphony that I enjoy the most.  Most orchestras have a set group of players for first and second violins respectively, and those players (except for those in titled chairs) will usually rotate throughout their section.  In our orchestra, we have a mix of violinists who elect to stay in a particular section and those (like me) who rotate between the two.  I find that first and second violin parts present unique challenges.  First violin parts tend to be very athletic, virtuosic, and exposed, while second violin parts demand a lot of concentration, sensitivity, and endurance.  Rotating between the two really keeps my chops up!

wow, an orchestra full of switch-hitters… sweet!  if you weren’t a musician, what profession would you choose?

Medicine or social work.

dr. cole does have a nice ring to it.  let’s see… um, what composer really rocks your world?

If I absolutely had to pick one single composer whose music I would have to listen to and perform exclusively for the rest of my life, I think it would be Brahms.  Brahms is just beyond.  But on another day my answer might be different!  Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev, Strauss, Stravinsky…. geniuses, all.

so did you ask joshua bell to ditch the shostakovich concerto for the brahms this weekend?  oh hang on, that’s not really my final question.  this is: what 3 words best describe carlos?

Intuitive, precise, and expressive.

bravo!  emily, thanks so much for the awesome answers ~ everyone here at the home office appreciates it.  oh, and just between the two of us, tomorrow the classical beaver is set to reveal exactly why coach kalmar is so intuitive, precise, and expressive.  see you then!


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