Interview with Nardo Poy from Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Check out this interview with Nardo Poy, a violist with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra! They perform tonight at Wharton Center – get your tickets!

“When I first picked up an instrument in my first year in junior high school, I knew I wanted to become a musician. Playing Classical music truly stirred my soul, and still does. I can’t think of anything more wonderful or fulfilling than to play the great works of the great composers.”

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What instrument do you play? : Viola

Can you share a funny tour story? : Many years ago, while on a tour to Japan with Orpheus, I was asked by someone from the concert presenting agency to announce the encores in Japanese, as they felt I had a good accent, even though I really only spoke a few words in Japanese. They also thought the audience would be delighted with a non-Japanese making the announcements in their language. I was taught how to say the proper expressions minutes before going on stage. Having been a fan of the Samurai movies, I decided to do the announcements in a stylized accent, the way the Samurai spoke in the movies. Naoko Tanaka, one of our violinists began laughing uproariously upon hearing it, as she had no warning I was about to do that. Who knows what the audience thought.

What is the first thing you do before going on stage? : First, we tune backstage, then warm up, then joke with each other just before the stage doors open.

What is the first thing you do when you leave the stage? : Usually, we comment on the performance, either positively or negatively, depending on how we felt we did, but we also just about always compliment colleagues for having played particularly beautifully. Then we line up in order for the next piece on the program.

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Favorite recording, why? : It’s hard to say, as there are so many wonderful recordings out there by so many great artists, orchestras, etc. I really can’t just pick one.

Favorite Classical artist, why? : Again, so many choices, but if I were to pick out two, I would say Jascha Heifetz on the violin and Sergei Rachmaninoff on the piano. Heifetz set violin standards that every violinist aspires to, and his playing has such a personal stamp. One always can tell if a recording is by him. The playing is exciting, white-hot (not at all cold as some people claim) and every note he played has its own color and significance. Rachmaninoff was an amazing pianist and his playing was never self-indulgent, but always respectful of every composer’s music he played. I love the way he plays with the structure of a work in mind – not surprising, as he was also a composer (and conductor).

First thing you think of when you hear “Pinchas Zuckerman”? : An absolutely amazing violinist, with an amazing sound. One of the great violinists of our time.

What do you love most about playing Classical music? : I have loved Classical music all my life, even as a little kid. I used to listen to Classical music radio and recordings, as well as the Young People’s Concerts on television with Leonard Bernstein before I ever took up an instrument. It was always just so moving to me. When I first picked up an instrument in my first year in junior high school, I knew I wanted to become a musician. Playing Classical music truly stirred my soul, and still does. I can’t think of anything more wonderful or fulfilling than to play the great works of the great composers. It’s an absolute privilege and I still pinch myself to see if it’s real. I feel very fortunate.

What do you do in your off-time, when you’re not performing, practicing and touring? : Cooking is perhaps my first love. I also like photography and collecting antiques, particularly antique Oriental carpets and art pottery.

Tickets are still available for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, tonight at 7:30 PM! You can purchase online at www.whartoncenter.com, calling 1-800-WHARTON, or by visiting us in the Ticket Office. Specially discounted $15 student tickets are available; MSU students use your APID to redeem!

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Posted in At Wharton Center, Classic Series, Events, Q&A

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