National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Ball Concert: Christoph Eschenbach, conductor / Steven Reineke, conductor / Joshua Bell, violin / Kelli O'Hara, soprano
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
The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works by Debussy, Ives, Saint-Saëns, & Beethoven
Northwestern University and Cleveland Institute of Music.
2. What is your favorite piece (or pieces) to play in the orchestra?
There are so many wonderful pieces for orchestra. It's my job to like as many as I can as much as I can. I don't know if I can choose.
3. Do you have a pre-concert ritual or routine?
Get to the Concert Hall in black fancy clothes with my viola before Jim calls us onstage.
4. Describe your favorite NSO moment:
Playing Copland Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Slatkin in Vienna at the Musikverein (1997).
5. What are three songs or pieces you love to listen to?
I like better to play them, but Strauss "Four Last Songs," or Rosenkavalier Suite, Mahler Symphony No. 5, Beethoven 5th Piano Concerto.
6. Did you grow up in a musical household?
Yes. My father is a bass player in the Chicago Symphony. My mom teaches violin and plays in local orchestras. My little brother is a cellist in the Arkansas Symphony. There was a lot of practicing sometimes.
7. What did you want to be growing up?
a. When did you know you wanted to be a professional classical musician?
When I had to choose between a physics class and orchestra in college. This is what I chose.
8. What is your favorite thing about living in the DC area?
The feel of it. The people are smart and international. It's beautiful here. The city itself is beautiful. There are so many things to do and see and I get to spend a lot of time in a wonderful building making beautiful music.
9. Where is your favorite DC hangout?
Whatever park my 5 year old son wants to go to, or our house.
10. Do you have any pets?
Lots! 3 cats, all are rescue cats but look like they're sisters, and a tank full of fish. Some goldfish and crayfish in the pond in back too.
11. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
With my family. We always find something fun to do.
12. Favorite movie:
Star Wars or The Princess Bride.
13. Favorite book:
14. Favorite sports team:
Chicago Cubs and Dallas Cowboys
15. Name one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
Well the other orchestra members wouldn't be surprised: I love my job and it gives me great purpose to help the NSO in any way I can. I spend a lot of time on a lot of committees that connect different areas of our management and the players and help make the NSO the closest-knit "family" that I know of, working together to create great symphonic art. It is a wonderful and rare privilege to help from the inside out.