August 8, 2015

RPO musicians on the road this summer: Part 2

Today we continue our two-part series on what our musicians are up to this summer. After traveling 600 miles with the RPO in July for our summer season, many of our musicians travel to teach and perform at conferences and with other symphonies and musical groups in August before starting another season at the Rochester Philharmonic. Today we catch up with clarinet Will Amsel and trombone Lisa Albrecht to learn more about their summer plans!

Will Amsel, clarinet
Where else did you play this summer?
Will Amsel
In July, my wife Rose and I spent the first couple of weeks playing with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (the summer resident orchestra of the The Chautauqua Institution). Then we came home and I finished up the summer season with the RPO. I think it’s good playing with other groups, whether it's another orchestra or chamber music, because for me it gets me out of my comfort zone and it's just a nice way to meet other musicians from different parts of the country, keeps things fresh.

What are your plans for August?
I’m looking forward to having some time off away from the clarinet (we're re-doing our kitchen, doing some of the work ourselves), and traveling with my wife, who’ll be playing bassoon in various places in August. She’s played with the RPO before, too. While RPO musicians are playing with musicians from other groups around the country, we are able to tell them about the orchestra, and sort of act like mini-ambassadors for what we do here in Rochester!

Lisa Albrecht, trombone
Where are you traveling this summer?
In July, I performed with the Opera Saratoga (formerly known as Lake George Opera) in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. I’ve been performing with them since 2007. The company, which has a renowned apprentice program, just wrapped up its 54th season!

What do you like about working with an opera company?
Lisa Albrecht
It’s always a pleasure to have a chance to perform opera in such a beautiful setting as Saratoga Springs. Changing genres, from symphonic to operatic repertoire, brings a different experience and skill set to my playing, which I really enjoy.

What are some of the highlights from your summer in Saratoga?
This past year the Opera Saratoga welcomed Lawrence Edelson as the new artistic and general director. I’m very proud to have been a part of our recent world premier, The Long Walk, by composer Jeremy Howard Beck and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, based on Brian Castner’s critically acclaimed book of the same name. The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life upon returning from the war.

That sounds like a very powerful work, and it’s exciting to hear that new opera works are being created and performed. Will you be performing locally this month?
My trombone quartet, Hohenfels Trombone Quartet, will perform on the concert series at the Sodus Point Lighthouse on August 23rd, from 2-4pm, presenting a “summer pops” program with everything thing from James Bond movie themes to jazz, pop, and several tunes inspired by their seaside setting. We’re really looking forward to being a part of this annual concert series with the picturesque backdrop of the historic lighthouse and Lake Ontario.

Lisa Albrecht (center) and the Hohenfels Trombone Quartet

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