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
Eastman School of Music and Curtis Institute of Music.
2. What is your favorite piece (or pieces) to play in the orchestra?
Mozart is one of my favorite composers, but wrote little for trombones. However, we recently performed his Requiem, which features a uniquely prominent solo for the second trombonist! I enjoy performing works from all the great composers, and the NSO always offers a wonderful variety.
3. Do you have a pre-concert ritual or routine?
I always try to take a good meal before a concert. Stomach rumbles are a distraction during focused performing! In my locker backstage, I keep a few protein bars in case I'm running late and haven't had a chance to eat.
4. Describe your favorite NSO moment:
Brahms Second Symphony in Nürnberg on the 2013 European Tour. There was an elderly couple sitting in a box near the stage, and I vividly remember seeing them beaming when we reached the second theme of the Finale. For them, there was no troubled past or uncertain future; only the joy of being in the moment. I felt a true sense of purpose and pride, that I was part of a wonderful ensemble that could reach deep into peoples' emotions and allow them to experience the inexplicable power of music.
5. What are three songs or pieces you love to listen to?
Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps and Ravel Daphnis et Chloé are two of my favorite works. I often revisit the four symphonies of Schumann; they are greatly under-appreciated works but they have always spoken to me.
6. Did you grow up in a musical household?
I am the only person in my family to pursue music for a career. But many of them have studied music in some capacity, and certainly have a great respect and appreciation for the art.
7. What did you want to be growing up?
I began piano when I was five years old and never looked back. I knew I would be a musician from my first lessons.
8. What is your favorite thing about living in the DC area?
It is exciting to live in a place where modern history is made every day. The District hums with a vibrancy and sophistication that few other places can match.
9. Where is your favorite DC hangout?
My favorite DC hangout is being at home. I live on a houseboat in Southwest DC. The tranquility of sitting on the roof, watching the sunset, is truly therapeutic.
10. Do you have any pets?
I have two cats, Flughafen and Maverick.
11. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
I don't like to be idle, so I load up my free time with many things. Often I study upcoming repertoire and other works that interest me. I also spend time learning German. If the evening is free I attend other concerts at the Kennedy Center or around the DC area. I feel that my musical pursuits are ongoing and absorbing each experience enhances my overall musicianship. In turn, I try to bring the new ideas into my own playing and into my participation with the NSO.
To relax, I enjoy being outdoors doing hiking, biking, and kayaking. I also have a hobby of railroading. Sitting near the tracks and watching trains come by is a perfect foil to a usually hectic day!