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Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will be rededicated as Marian Anderson Hall, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Gabriel Polinsky

Musicians Behind the Scenes: Gabriel Polinsky

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on September 28, 2022

Where were you born? I was born on Long Island, NY.

What is your most treasured possession? My dog.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Mike’s BBQ on S. 11th St.

Tell us about your instrument. I currently play a bass owned by the Orchestra, which used to belong to former Principal Bass Roger Scott. It’s probably over 100 years old and was made somewhere in northern Italy. It has a beautiful and distinct look, due to the wear of the varnish over the years. 

What’s in your instrument case? Music, pencils, extra strings, cloth, and rosin.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? There’s a famous aria for bass singer and double bass by Mozart [“Per questa bella mano”], and there’s a story that he didn’t like the bassist and therefore made the piece very challenging. Is this true Wolfgang?

What piece of music never fails to move you? “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin.

When did you join the Orchestra? I started playing in January 2022 and officially started in July.

Do you play any other instruments? Not fluently. 

What’s your favorite type of food? Food cooked low and slow.

What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? A hard copy of Peter Camenzind by Hermann Hesse.
Do you speak any other languages? No.

Do you have any hobbies? Cooking. 

Do you have a favorite movie? The Lord of the Rings.

What’s the last recording you purchased? Letters for the Future with Time for Three and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

What’s on your iPod? Everything from classical to jazz to funk to hip hop to bluegrass. I like a lot of different music. 

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? Besides in the movie Fantasia, it was at Carnegie Hall in 2017.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara.

Photo: Sara Han

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