I've always had a love for classical music and once in a while I'm giving the opportunity to perform in that world. Classical musicians are the specialists in the musical field and by embracing other styles I can be seen as an interloper when joining them; My goal is to function well in the limited role I'm given, secure in the knowledge that they can't do other things that I have more control over! Here's some peeks into this aspect of my playing:
Here's a link to the website for the Southeast Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, for which I've been the pianist and electronic keyboardist (for celeste, cannonfire in the 1812, etc.) since about 2008. Music Director Allan Scott is a forward-thinking leader under whose direction we've played symphonies by Ives, Gorecki, Copland and other modernists in addition to the traditional repertoire. You don't expect a local symphony to be performing such things and my musical horizons have broadened having these oppotunities.
I'm occasionally asked to provide musical textures via synthesizers for this world-reknown organization. It's an amazing experience to be on stage and hear this angelic vocal texture all around you! My latest visit was on June 7, 2015, when we played at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Back in 2003 I was asked to perform the John Adams "Chamber Symphony" and Copland's "Music for Theatre" with this wonderful orchestra. Turns out John Adams shipped them a data disc for a Kurzweil synthesizer as part of the composition and they didn't know what to do with it and called me in. It was a musical challenge that turned out to be filmed in the rehearsals by the ABC newscast "20/20". They had an agenda and I learned a lot about how the media distorts the events to fit that agenda; here's a clip:
Be sure to check out our website for a lot more on this project. Briefly, I play accordion with Allan Slutsky on mandolin and a top-drawer acoustic bass; we play Fritz Kreisler material, light classics, film music, tangos, Italian favorites and more with the ambiance of a European café group.
Most of my classical playing happens at home, playing solo piano. Here's a taste of Debussy's 1st Arabesque: