After each Meet the Music concert the students who attended always write thank you letters to Jeffrey Kahane and the musicians who performed. Part of the Meet the Music program is a Q & A session when the children have the opportunity to pose questions to Jeff and the musicians about the performance. Those students who think of a question later on, or who did not have the opportunity to ask their question, often include their inquiries in their thank you notes.
After the December Meet the Music, I sent a selection of the questions to Jeffrey Kahane who returned with thoughtful responses for the students.
Question from Hailey J.
How long do you need to practice to audition for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra?
That’s a hard question to answer, because in one way you could say that musicians practice for most of the years that they are growing up and well into college and after to get to the point where they are ready to audition for an orchestra like LACO. But for any one specific audition, a musician will usually start preparing several months in advance, sometimes maybe as much as a year.
Question from Shiraz
What is your favorite piece to conduct?
I don’t have any one single favorite piece, but I can tell you that I especially love conducting any symphonies by Beethoven and Mahler.
Question from Rachel
How long does the Orchestra practice a piece?
It depends on how hard the piece is to play and whether we have played it before. Some pieces take 30 to 45 minutes to rehearse, and some take many hours. Usually we have a total of about eight hours of rehearsal for each program we play.
Question from Joden
What inspired you to become a conductor?
The thing that inspired me to become a conductor was the beauty and excitement of the sound of an orchestra. Even though I started my career in music as a pianist, I always wanted to be involved with making music with an orchestra. For me, there is nothing more inspiring than the sound of a really great orchestra playing great music!