Where were you born? I was born in Seattle, Washington.
What piece of music could you play over and over again? Pretty much anything by Samuel Barber, and not just because we have the same name!
What is your most treasured possession? I try not to get too attached to material things, but if pressed I’d have to say my motorcycle, a 2000 BMW Roadster. I met my future wife when I was passing through Montana on it; it brought me to her.
What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? A new joint called Alice in the Italian Market. It’s a one-way ticket to Yumtown!
Tell us about your instrument. I play French clarinets from the maker Buffet. In the clarinet world, things lean either to the German side or the French side, and I opt for the latter.
What’s in your instrument case? Besides my clarinets and reeds, I’ve got some reed-working gear, multiple pairs of glasses, music, and a handwritten note from my daughter from when she was a toddler, telling me I can do it, lol!
If you could ask one composer one question, what would it be? I’d ask Schoenberg or Webern why they dug in their heels on the whole 12-tone thing. Though we have some, I think we missed out on a lot of great music from those composers.
What piece of music never fails to move you? Sibelius’s Sixth Symphony, among many others. There’s a spot in the last movement where you’ve got a melody of hope playing over the top of a menacing one in the lower strings. To be able to combine those two things in such an incredible way, to stretch the language of music that far, gets me every time.
When did you join the Orchestra? I joined in 1998, and last year marked by 25th season!
Do you play any other instruments? When my confidence is up, I play the smallest amount of alto saxophone.
What’s your favorite type of food? Probably Italian, but there’s plenty I love.
What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? I’m currently immersed in the sailing world of Patrick O’Brian and loving it. I prefer hard copy to e-reader, since my e-device is my phone or iPad, which comes with all those pesky distractions!
Do you speak any other languages? Sadly, no.
Do you have any hobbies? I’m a gamer, a motorcycle rider, and a reader.
Do you have a favorite movie? I admire The Conjuring—it got an “R” rating, not for any other reason than how well told, i.e. scary, it was. There’s no swearing, nobody dies, etc.—it’s just chills galore.
Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Plenty! There is so much good music out there. It seems like forever since we’ve played any Paul Hindemith, for example.
What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? I wish someone would have gently taken me aside when I was collecting CDs and reminded me that formats change, lol! I have a streaming subscription now, which keeps me mostly happy.
What’s on your iPod? Do people still use these?
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? It was my first year at the Curtis Institute of Music. I was totally blown away.
Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Ha! Carnegie is always a pleasure. It’s one of those special halls that helps you sound your best, rather than needing to be “solved.”
Photo: Jessica Griffin