In a capstone to our Leonard Bernstein centenary celebration, we present his quirky, complex, irreverent, and very humorous operetta Candide, with orchestral staging.
Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.
Where were you born? In Dorothy, New Jersey.
What piece of music could you play over and over again? None. I enjoy coming back to a great piece of music I love, rather than playing it over and over.
What’s your most treasured possession? Definitely myself. My only possession and I get to keep it for this very short while.
Tell us about your instrument: There are two instruments I use in the Orchestra. One is an older French bass that I love. The other is a modern Italian instrument made by Sergio Scaramelli in 2008.
If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? Johann Sebastian Bach: What was so miserable in your life that you set to such beautiful music the bitter and agonizing words of “Come, Sweet Death?”
What piece of music never fails to move you? “Amazing Grace.”
When did you join the Orchestra? In 1974.
Do you play any other instruments? I played tuba and sousaphone throughout high school. My lifelong quest is to become efficient at the piano.
What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? Several books by Haruki Murakami and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. I only read hard copy books.
Do you have a favorite movie? Death in Venice. It’s a great study of obsessive love and a wonderful use of the “Adagietto” from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.
What’s on your iPod? Karen and Richard Carpenter, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Morgan State University Choir.
Do you have any hobbies? Running, reading, piano.
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? In 10th grade.
Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? The nostalgic Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
Photo by Jessica Griffin