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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Brass Junkies 108: Jim Nova

Andrew Hitz

TBJ108-promo.jpg

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TBJ108: Jim "Don't call me BB" Nova on writing, driving and April Fooling

Good friend of the podcast Jim Nova joined us for a second go around on TBJ108. Oh man did we laugh!

Jim is one of the most creative people with a full-time playing gig that you’ll ever meet. That’s for good reason! It takes an awful lot of work to be able to maintain the ability to play at the level of the Pittsburgh Symphony. So to have that much creative energy left over to do all the things Jim has is pretty remarkable.

And his Star Wars stuff is AMAZING!

The Brass Junkies 87: Craig Knox

Andrew Hitz

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TBJ87: Craig Knox of the Pittsburgh Symphony on premiering the Jennifer Higdon Tuba Concerto, European road stories and the joys of palinka

Craig is one hell of a tuba player and teacher and a great guy. It was a lot of fun chatting with him about the many things he does in his career.

From the show notes:

Craig Knox is Principal Tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Center City Brass Quintet. With these ensembles and others, he has performed for audiences across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and been heard on recordings, and radio, television, and internet broadcasts around the world.

Mr. Knox works regularly with music students through his teaching positions at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in Pittsburgh, and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, as well as at music festivals, seminars, and conservatories around the world, where he appears as a guest clinician.

You can check out the complete show notes including all of the links mentioned during this episode over at Pedal Note Media.

The Brass Junkies 61: Mark Houghton of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

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We got to sit down with Mark Houghton, one of the more recent additions to the brass section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. We touched on a bunch of different topics including his family's horn business and meditation.

From the show notes:

Mark Houghton, 3rd Horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Adjunct Professor of Horn at Duquesne University joins Andrew & Lance in a thoughtful conversation covering both the mental and practical sides of a career playing horn. Since joining the PSO in 2014, Mark explains how well the section clicks and the commonality of approach which helps them do what they do. He discusses the value of positive affirmations and meditation and we touch on the possible connection between long tones and meditation. Additionally, Mark talks about his family’s horn business and what goes into choosing an instrument. 

The Brass Junkies 56: Zach Smith, Assistant Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

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We were joined by Zach Smith, Assistant Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony for episode 56. The poor guy teaches at Duquesne with Lance but seems to somehow be in good spirits.

This interview ranged from talking about Zach's warmup to the very contentious Pittsburgh Symphony strike that recently ended. He didn't hold back and it was great.

Why We Prepare

Andrew Hitz

"Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That’s why we train so hard."
—Chad Winkler in Episode 30 of The Brass Junkies

This is probably the most succinct quote about preparation I've ever heard. When Chad mentioned this in our interview with him at Duquesne University we made him repeat it.

I personally love hearing stories of the people like Chad who were able to win a job with the likes of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (which is his hometown orchestra on top of it all...talk about pressure!). When you hear him in his interview talk about the path he took to get to that point and all of the preparation that went into it, it takes a little of the mystique out of wondering "How could I ever win a job like that?"

Not that it is simply as easy as preparing a lot and then winning. But you hear over and over again from people like Chad how intentional and thorough their training was leading up to an audition like that.

I hate saying nice things about trumpet players, but when you hear how much effort went into his preparation for the audition for his dream job you have to say he deserved to win it.

But please don't tell him I said that. :)

The Brass Junkies: Chad Winkler of the Pittsburgh Symphony

Andrew Hitz

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Chad Winkler, fourth/utility trumpet for the Pittsburgh Symphony, sat down with Lance and me for our first ever live taping of the Brass Junkies. We spoke to him where both he and Lance teach at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Chad spoke about the many different professional auditions he took before winning the big job with his hometown Pittsburgh Symphony. He also talked about what it was like growing up with a famous trumpet teacher as a father.

My two favorite moments from the interview were when he shared the best quote about preparation I've ever heard and when he and I got into a fight about hockey!

Links:

PSO Biography
Personal Website

You can help offset the costs of producing the show by making a small donation athttps://www.patreon.com/thebrassjunkies. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Produced by Austin Boyer of FredBrass

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I recently stumbled upon this wonderful performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony performing at the opening night of Musikfest Berlin 2013. They are lead by their music director, Manfred Honeck. It's a great program:

Janaček: Suite for String Orchestra
Lutosławski: Chain 2, Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Opus 40

Enjoy!


The Brass Junkies: Jim Nova

Andrew Hitz

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For this episode we were joined by Jim Nova, trombone player for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Jim talked about how his successful audition for the Pittsburgh Symphony was the 39th of his career! He also shared a very moving story about the loss of his mother and the trombone that she saved up money to buy for him before she passed away.

He told some really great stories about his father, a professional accordion player turned pizza parlor owner turned composer. Jim's story of the time his father hired an orchestra in Bulgaria to record some compositions he had written for him is one for the ages!

Finally, he talked about a side project he's been doing that recently got the attention of none other than John Williams himself.

https://soundcloud.com/jimnova

http://www.jimnova.com/

 

You can help offset the costs of producing the show by making a small donation athttps://www.patreon.com/thebrassjunkies. Your support is greatly appreciated!