Paula AkbarFirst Violins
NSO Pops: Pink Martini & The von Trapps / Steven Reineke, conductor
National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Ball Concert: Christoph Eschenbach, conductor / Steven Reineke, conductor / Joshua Bell, violin / Kelli O'Hara, vocals
National Symphony Orchestra: Matthew Halls, conductor: Paul Jacobs, organ, plays Poulenc's Organ Concerto / Works by J.S. Bach & Mendelssohn
National Symphony Orchestra: David Zinman, conductor: Angela Hewitt, piano, plays Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 / Works by R. Strauss & Schoenberg
1. What university or conservatory did you attend?
I attended Lewis & Clark College and Yale Graduate School of Music.
2. What is your favorite piece (or pieces) to play in the orchestra?
Eastern European, Nationalistic pieces are my favorite. Enescu's Rumanian Rhapsody Falla, Smetana's Moldau, Kodály's Háry János...
3. Do you have a pre-concert ritual or routine?
I MUST have a good meal and COFFEE!
4. Describe your favorite NSO moment:
When Slava "gave" me his personal limo & driver for a whole day sightseeing in Taiwan - on the condition I find him toy bugs made from walnuts.
5. What are three songs or pieces you love to listen to?
I like Sting, Bonnie Raitt, and Simple Minds.
6. Did you grow up in a musical household?
There was always music, singing and dancing. My mom played "French harp" and my dad played French harp, fiddle and guitar.
7. What did you want to be growing up?
An artist, or a singer/dancer.
a. When did you know you wanted to be a professional classical musician?
From age 7.
8. What is your favorite thing about living in the DC area?
My little neighborhood in Cabin John, and being so close to small towns and farmland.
9. Where is your favorite DC hangout?
Wild Tomato Restaurant and Bethesda natural Food Co-op. Both in Cabin John.
10. Do you have any pets?
Three kitties: Git, Cleo and Sweetpea, and a Beta fish.
11. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
12. Favorite movie: Midsomer Murders - love the soundtrack.
15. Name one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I quit violin for 2 years and had my own vintage clothing shop. I typed 2 manuscripts for a New York Times best-selling author.