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Most memorable performance with the ESO
November 22, 1963 was to have been a special performance of the Evanston Symphony as part of the celebration of Evanston’s 100th anniversary. It would also have been my first concert with the orchestra. But earlier that day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the whole world was in disbelief and mourning. That evening, ESO members gathered onstage with Maestro Frank Miller and our world famous soprano soloist, Elisabeth Schwartzkopf. We observed a moment of silence and then the concert was cancelled.
Favorite ESO soloist
Cellist Janos Starker. He was smoking a cigarette while he played the dress rehearsal of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with us, and he showered the first violin section with ashes!
Why I like playing with the ESO
I have a great sense of joy in coming together with other musicians to bring forward the music of the great masters while constantly striving for musical perfection.
Favorite composer or piece
Johann Sebastian Bach
When I’m not playing with the ESO, I’m…
In addition to my love of classical music, I love to perform a variety of styles on fiddle and viola, including old-timey Appalachian style folk, Celtic, pop, country, blues, rock ‘n roll and jazz. During the past year, I frequently accompanied folksinger Mark Dvořák in The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie during Woody’s 100th year birthday centennial. I am also currently a member of two folk rock bands and a Celtic folk ensemble.
Something most people don’t know about me
In 1961 I was a University of Michigan summer student at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. The students gave a party for Van Cliburn, who had played the Tchaikovsky concerto that evening, and I got to dance the Virginia Reel with him.