Second-year violinist Fedor Ouspensky (Pre-College ’12), who holds Bidù Sayão and Michael and Ethel Cohen scholarships, took the Orchestra Orientation class in its inaugural year.
I took the class last year, and it was great—you start right away with the top-notch conductor coming to you. One unique part of it was that it was the first time I’d gone to orchestra rehearsals and not ever performed the piece in concert that we rehearsed, but that kind of took the pressure off of playing under Alan Gilbert and let us concentrate a lot on different aspects of orchestra playing. I also enjoyed when musicians from the New York Philharmonic gave us coachings about playing in a professional orchestra and what their standards are. Juilliard clearly wants the Juilliard Orchestra to stretch and rise to that level by re-creating that environment.
We learned all sorts of things, especially that you can learn a lot from listening. Looking up from your music stand and listening was the motif of the class. We also learned that the musicians in the back have to play a tiny bit earlier or sometimes louder—in the back we deliver the sound and the power. If you’re thinking individually rather than collaboratively, you can do it, but it’s a lot harder.
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