Backstage with the New World Symphony, 2011-2012 Season

Elena SeeEach week Elena See introduces you to the best and brightest young instrumentalists at NWS. These young musicians who live in South Florida concentrate exclusively on working, practicing, studying and performing as full time orchestral musicians. The New World Symphony invites the world's best guest artists, coaches and conductors to work with the organization in a full season of concerts and community outreach programs. Join Elena See every Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. as she interviews one of the current Fellows and brings you musical highlights of upcoming concerts at NWS during their September 2011 through April 2012 season.

May 9, 2012

This week, we meet David Meyer. David is a 2nd year cello fellow from California who just won a job with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra so this is his last year with the NWS. David's real passion? Chamber music. He says he couldn't have gotten the job in North Carolina without the training and preparation he received during his time with the NWS.

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May 2, 2012

This week, we meet Elizabeth Phelps, a 3rd year violin fellow from Connecticut who has actually chosen to extend her stay with the NWS for an additional year. Elizabeth says, more than anything, it's her talented colleagues who make participating in the NWS so worthwhile. She has a lot to say about MTT and Mahler – the NWS's season ends with a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 9 the first weekend in May.

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April 25, 2012

This week, we meet Joseph Lee, a 2nd year cello fellow from California. Joe thinks it's the hands-on experience fellows get with the NWS that make the group so special and says the South Florida community can't get enough of the New World Center.

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April 11, 2012

This week we meet Rajesh Prasad. Rajesh is a first year percussion fellow originally from Ohio who took up percussion in junior high because he thought it would be "really easy." Rajesh thinks Bach's music is "just utterly perfect" and feels really lucky to be working with the NWS.

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April 4, 2012

This week, we meet Melanie Lancon. Melanie is a first year flute fellow originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She took her audition for the NWS in Los Angeles - she was living near there at the time, working as artistic manager for the Music Academy of the West.

Melanie only decided recently that she wanted to be a professional musician – she has played the flute for years and it was only about a year ago that she realized she really missed playing in an orchestra. So, she auditioned for the NWS and her response when she got the call telling her she'd made it made her realize she'd made the right decision to pursue music. (Originally aired on Jan. 11, 2012)

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March 28, 2012

This week, we meet Colin Asher Sutliff. Colin is a third year French horn fellow and he has been starting to prepare more seriously for his future AFTER the NWS. Colin didn't start out with the French horn - he started as a trumpet player because he wanted to play in a ska band. It was the tactile sensation of a brass instrument that convinced him to become a professional musician and he ultimately decided to switch to the French horn because he realized he really loved its sound. He shares some memories - good and bad - about his three years with the NWS and talks about his future plans. (Originally aired on Dec. 11, 2011)

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March 21, 2012

This week, we meet Katerina Istomin. Katerina is a violist originally from St. Petersburg, Russia (she grew up mostly in Pittsburgh) and this is her second year with the NWS. Katerina decided to play viola because she wanted to go to Florida with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and actually planned on being a doctor, not a musician. Katerina can't wait for the last concert of the season - MTT conducting Mahler's 9th symphony in May.

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March 14, 2012

This week, we meet Joshua Gersen. Joshua (or JD) is the one and only conducting fellow and he's originally from Monroe, Connecticut. This is his first year with the NWS, and he'll start as Music Director of the New York Youth Orchestra this fall.

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March 7, 2012

This week, we meet Alexandra Early. Alexandra is a violinist originally from St. Paul, Minnesota and this is her third and final year with the NWS. She is excited to audition for the Minnesota Orchestra — they recently posted an opening for a 2nd violinist — and she speaks eloquently about how the New World Center encourages a whole new kind of classical music audience. Alexandra also teaches yoga and sees a very clear and important connection between music and physical activity.

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February 29, 2012

This week, we meet Marybeth Brown-Plambeck. Marybeth is a first year cello fellow originally from San Francisco. She offers up a very compelling description of the New World Center and had a lot to say about why it's such a great venue.

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February 22, 2012

This week, we meet Charles Clements. Charles is a first year double bass fellow originally from Boston. Charles says his decision to play the double bass was really a 'long, drawn out saga and wants to get others to really see the double bass as a solo instrument. He talks about a musical turning point, seeing the Vienna Philharmonic in Vienna playing Brahms. He'd never realized music could sound quite like that.

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February 15, 2012

This week, we meet Colleen McCullough. Colleen is a first year violin fellow originally from Overland Park, Kansas. Colleen was part of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Australia – that's where she met MTT. She has quite a bit of professional experience already, playing with the Austin Symphony Orchestra in Texas and the Wichita Symphony Orchestra in Kansas, and eventually wants to play with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra – a group she says has "come a really long way."

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February 8, 2012

This week, we meet Carl Baron. Carl is a first year cello fellow originally from New Jersey. Carl played his cello on the subway platforms of NYC to earn money for grad school, an experience he wants to recreate somehow during his time with the NWS. Carl thinks Michael Tilson Thomas is exactly the best kind of conductor: he does not micromanage.

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February 1, 2012

This week, we meet Tony Parce. Tony is a first year viola fellow originally from Seattle, Washington whose father is baritone Erich Parce. Tony wanted to be a conductor – but changed his mind in college. Tony absolutely LOVES the New World Center and he explains why.

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January 25, 2012

This week, we meet Jeanette Jang. Jeanette is a third year violin fellow originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She shares stories (some horrifying, some not too bad) about the audition process.

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January 18, 2012

This week, we meet Sam Blair. Sam is a second year bassoon fellow originally from Dallas, Texas. He recently won a job with the Washington National Opera Orchestra. In September, Sam will begin his new full time career as that orchestra's utility bassoon/contrabassoon player.

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January 11, 2012

This week, we meet Melanie Lancon. Melanie is a first year flute fellow originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She took her audition for the NWS in Los Angeles - she was living near there at the time, working as artistic manager for the Music Academy of the West.

Melanie only decided recently that she wanted to be a professional musician – she has played the flute for years and it was only about a year ago that she realized she really missed playing in an orchestra. So, she auditioned for the NWS and her response when she got the call telling her she'd made it made her realize she'd made the right decision to pursue music.

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January 4, 2012

This week, we meet Megan Griffin. Megan is a first year viola fellow and it was her mother who first started her on her musical path. Megan started by playing the violin – but she got bored in high school and so on a whim picked up a viola. And that was that.

Megan was lucky enough to participate in some community outreach programs in New Orleans during her time at the Juilliard School and those experiences have convinced her that community outreach is incredibly important. She’s glad to be a fellow with the NWS where community engagement is a cornerstone of the program.

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December 28, 2011

This week, we meet Doug Rosenthal. Doug is a third year trombone fellow who started in music by playing trumpet and piano and euphonium. After his arms grew long enough, he moved on and started on the trombone.

Doug has a lot to say about the NWS's community engagement programs and also talks about one of his favorite memories with the NWS - playing Mahler's 6th Symphony last season with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and NWS alumni in each section.

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December 21, 2011

This week, we meet Colin Asher Sutliff. Colin is a third year French horn fellow and he has been starting to prepare more seriously for his future AFTER the NWS. Colin didn't start out with the French horn - he started as a trumpet player because he wanted to play in a ska band. It was the tactile sensation of a brass instrument that convinced him to become a professional musician and he ultimately decided to switch to the French horn because he realized he really loved its sound. He shares some memories - good and bad - about his three years with the NWS and talks about his future plans.

Listen

December 14, 2011

This week, we meet Grace Browning. She's THE harp fellow with the NWS and this is her first season.

Grace has been dreaming about working with the NWS for something like 6 years. And she says the past few months working with the group have been incredible. Not only is she sharpening her skills as an ensemble player, she also gets the chance to shine as a soloist – something she hasn't really done before.

She thinks the NWS is the perfect place to transition from student musician to professional musician and she explains why in great detail.

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December 7, 2011

This week, we meet Amos Fayette. He's a first year violin fellow originally from Long Island, New York and he likens his family to a sort of present day Von Trapp clan - the members of the family Fayette all play at least one instrument. Amos thinks the NWS is at the forefront of re-defining the meaning of 'classical music.' He talks about what the group is doing that is going to help create a entirely new kind of classical music player and a new kind of classical music audience.

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November 30, 2011

This week, we meet second year timpani fellow Brian Flescher. Brian talks about the moment he knew he wanted to be a timpanist - not a percussionist, but a timpanist. Brian also has some interesting things to say about Michael Tilson Thomas and the concept of balance as it relates to performing with 80-plus musicians in an orchestra.

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November 23, 2011

This week, we meet first year cello fellow Grace An. Grace didn't know for sure she wanted to be a professional cellist until she was in college, studying music, history and German. It was only after some time away from the cello that she decided she couldn't live without it.

Grace is especially excited about working with the NWS because of the group's commitment to something she believes in passionately: community engagement. She talks a bit about some of the community based projects she'll be working on during her time with the NWS.

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November 16, 2011

This week, we meet first year double bass fellow Tristan Sutton. Tristan is from Cincinnati, originally, and he started playing the bass when he was 15. But he started making music when he was 5 or 6 - playing the violin, the piano and the trombone.

Why bass? Because he saw a youth orchestra playing one day and thought, "Hey, I could do a better job than those guys!" And he never looked back. Tristan is really awed by the community's response to the NWS and the New World Center and shares some of his favorite pieces on BWNWS.

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November 9, 2011

This week, we meet first year viola fellow Izia Weyman. She's a Massachusetts native who started taking violin lessons when she was 2. Not really -- but she was so enthralled with the sound of her big sister's violin that she sat perfectly still throughout her sister's lessons.

Izia eventually switched to viola and says she's incredibly grateful to be playing with the NWS, partly because of the NWS's devotion to community engagement. Behavior like that, according to Izia, will help orchestras thrive and evolve in the years to come. And she has some interesting ideas about engaging the community and the classical music audience, too.

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November 2, 2011

This week, we spend a little more time with second year bassoon fellow Tom Schneider. He's originally from Centennial Colorado and he started his musical life with piano lessons ... he never really felt connected to the piano, however, and so eventually moved on to the clarinet. But when he heard the wide range of sounds a bassoon was possible of creating, he says he knew that was the instrument for him.

Tom has a lot to say about the New World Center and has some interesting thoughts about classical music’s place and importance in society.

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October 26, 2011

This week, we meet second year bassoon fellow Tom Schneider. He's originally from Centennial Colorado and he started his musical life with piano lessons…he never really felt connected to the piano, however, and so eventually moved on to the clarinet. But when he heard the wide range of sounds a bassoon was possible of creating, he says he knew that was the instrument for him.

Tom has a lot to say about the New World Center and has some interesting thoughts about classical music's place and importance in society. He shares those thoughts and more this week adn next on BWNWS.

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October 19, 2011

This week, we meet third year bass fellow Evan Halloin. He's originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin and says he's not entirely sure why he chose the bass in the first place ... it was probably simply because it's the biggest instrument and he was kind of tall for an 11 year-old.

He also has an interesting perspective on why working with the New World Symphony is really going to help him move along in his musical career and describes some of the pieces he's really looking forward to this season.

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October 12, 2011

This week, we meet third year viola Fellow Yumi Saguichi. She loves Beethoven, Michael Tilson Thomas and working with her colleagues at the NWS - not necessarily in that order.

Michael Tilson Thomas is someone she admires for his fresh approach to music - especially his interpretations of Beethoven's music. She's especially excited about the 'Beethoven Journey' concert series that MTT will conduct on October 22.

You can view the New World Symphony's season opening performances at www.nws.edu

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