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From our facebook page: a profile of Richard Amoroso, first violin.
Hometown: Upper Darby, PA
Philadelphia Orchestra member since: January 1998
What are some of your hobbies? --Playing golf, exercising, and hunting down good pizza.
Are any of your family members musicians? --Many of my family members are musicians - my father, several cousins, aunt and uncles and my grandfather.
Are you related to the famous Amoroso Baking Company? --I am not related but my father grew up in the same neighborhood as the Amoroso baking family.
What is one of your favorite tour or run out stories? --One special concert and memory is a concert we played a few years ago in Saratoga Springs. On a very hot steamy night, a large beetle landed on my shirt. After asking my stand partner to brush it off, she instead sent it down the middle of my shirt. I played 20 more minutes until intermission with it crawling around on my stomach.
Do you teach? --I teach several students privately each week out of my home.
Please tell us about your violin and/or bow. --I play on my Nikolai Gagliano from 1761, which is like a family member to me. The bow I use is nothing extraordinary in terms of value, but it draws a great sound out of my violin.
Elizabeth Starr Masoudnia, Philadelphia Orchestra English Horn, is profiled by Susan Lewis of radio station WRTI.
You can read the full article, and listen to an audio interview here.
Masoudnia says it's "an extremely expressive instrument, and so composers use it usually when they have something very special to express." Wagner, Strauss, and Mahler are among other major composers who have written notable solos for the instrument.
As for the name? Likely a mistranslation. Masoudnia explains: "In German, it was called angelish horn—or horn of the angels—and the French word for it is cor anglai, which meant angled horn."
In the orchestra, the English horn player sits with the oboes, and is often called on to play both instruments.
Former Associate Principal Clarinet, Donald Montanaro passed away December 1 at the age of 82.
Read an appreciation article in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.
Don was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1957 to 2005, for much of that time playing alongside his wife, harpist Margarita Montanaro. A passionate collaborative musician, he also founded the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble in 1977, performed at the Marlboro and... Casals festivals, and toured Europe and the Far East as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles.
A 1954 Curtis graduate and faculty member from 1980 to 2014, his teaching and musicality embodied the great Philadelphia tradition of wind playing. He attracted, guided, and graduated young clarinetists who now occupy important positions in Beijing, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Malmö, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seoul, and Toronto; as well as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Upon his retirement from Curtis in 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
Sam Caviezel, our current Associate Principal Clarinet, wrote in 2014: “His exquisite ear for tone and mastery of phrasing, combined with a keen understanding of how to transmit this knowledge to his students, made for a learning experience that has been second to none in my life. Whenever I play something really beautifully in the orchestra, I feel like I am standing on Don’s shoulders.”
Sincere condolences to Margarita and the family.
Thanks to the Curtis Institute for the detailed information.