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New York String Orchestra: Nora Scheller on the City and the Maestro

In her second blog post in advance of the New York String Orchestra concerts on December 24 and 28 Minnesotan, Nora Scheller, arrives in New York and has her first day of rehearsals.


Today I am hailing from New York City, the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps! I found myself surprised upon arriving, actually, by how much I liked the city. I was here this past August and found it to be much too dirty, mechanized, and bustling with people for my taste. I typically prefer something much smaller, quieter, and more relaxed, not big, boisterous, and busy! Anyway, as my cab pulled into the city, I found myself becoming more and more enraptured with it, with the general feel of it—yes, it is very large, very busy and not the cleanest of places, but it's also regal, majestic and awe inspiring, not to mention incredibly rich in history and culture! I doubt whether you could find a city on the East Coast (at least not anywhere I've been, which actually isn't saying much) that is more diverse or represents as many different types of people or cultures as New York.

Anyway, enough about New York, amazing as it may be—on to the seminar itself! Today was the first day of rehearsals, marking the official beginning of the seminar. Naturally, I was excited. I knew that this would probably be the best orchestra I had ever been a part of, and that was confirmed by our first run-through of Mozart's "Paris" Symphony. Also, Maestro Laredo is, of course, fantastic! I must admit, I had been expecting him to be a bit more restrained and strict than he actually is, what with his amazing career and successes as both a violinist and conductor. I was surprised, however, by how warm, friendly, and personable he is towards everyone! So many conductors treat the musicians in their orchestra as instruments, as objects to be commanded and told what to do, not people with personalities and individuality. Maestro Laredo is not that way at all, which I really like about him. To him, we are all individuals deserving of respect, and he treats us so. Having said that, I can truthfully say that I'm even more excited to be working under him now than I was before!

As I write these final few sentences, the clock strikes 8:10 AM, marking the twenty-minute point before the buses leave for rehearsal. Today, we will work on Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, a feat that requires nourishment, meaning that I need to get to the Starbucks before we leave. And so, adieu from the Big Apple, until next time!

—Nora Scheller


See Nora and the full orchestra perform a program of Mozart and Mendelssohn on December 24, and Barber, Brahms, and Beethoven on December 28.

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