January 6, 2016

Meet the Artist: Julie Albers, cello

Colorado’s Julie Albers started violin at age two before switching to cello at four. After winning grand prize at a competition for young musicians in France, she made her orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998 and has since performed in recital and with orchestras around the world. This season, she joined the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota as principal cellist. Next week, Albers joins violinist Karen Gomyo to perform Brahms’ double concerto at the RPO under the baton of Parisian conductor Fabien Gabel.
Julie Albers
c Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

What has been your proudest moment in your career?
My proudest moment was my debut with Cleveland Orchestra because not only was it my first opportunity to play with such an incredible group, but it was also the last performance that my Dad saw of mine before he passed away. (sidenote: Albers' father was a piano teacher and choral director who influenced her decision to become a musician.)

This is your second time performing with the RPO. Your last performance was in 2009 and you performed Barber’s Cello Concerto. Do you have any memories of your last time performing with the RPO?
Strongest memory from my last performance was how scared of the Barber concerto I was! It was one of my first times playing it. I also remember it being a wonderfully collaborative experience with the RPO.

How are you preparing to play Brahms' Concerto, which involves another artist? Is it hard to prepare for a piece that features another artist when you aren’t together to rehearse?
It's always fun to prepare Brahms' double because every performance opportunity is so different depending on who you are playing it with. I grew up playing the Brahms with my older sister, so I have many wonderful memories of all of our performances together as I prepare for these concerts.

What do you like about Brahms' Concerto?
I love the sonority of Brahms! So deep and rich!

If you could only play one piece for the rest of your life, it would be
I've gone through about 10 pieces as the only piece I would play for the rest of my life and I can't decide! Maybe Bach Goldberg Variations? Perhaps one of the late Beethoven quartets? Or maybe Brahms Intermezzo Op. 118 because it has my favorite chord of all time!

What would be your advice to young musicians?
My advice would be to follow your dreams and create a path for yourself even if it seems nontraditional! Work hard and learn from every situation you find yourself in.

If you go:
Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique," plus Karen Gomyo and Julie Albers play Brahms
Thu. Jan. 14 at 7:30PM
Sat. Jan. 16 at 8PM
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Tickets start at $22; student tickets $10 with a valid full time student id

See Julie Albers perform two songs in a van in this fun video by VDub Sessions, which documents musicians on the move in Oklahoma.

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