Patricia Mabee has been principal keyboardist since 1976, and has appeared in more than 20 works from the concerto repertoire under the batons of Sir Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Nicholas McGegan and Iona Brown. Mabee took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer some fun questions for us, so keep reading to learn more about her history with snake bites and the soundtrack to her forbidden adolescent tryst!
Do you have any pre-concert rituals?
I like to curl up into a ball, or at least close my eyes and listen to my breath for a minute.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
Sitting under the upright piano while my Mom played Bach. I was probably only one or two years old.
What’s a piece of music that triggers a memory that always makes you smile?
It’s “Let’s Spend the Night Together” by the Rolling Stones. Ahhh, forbidden adolescent tryst!
If you could play another instrument other than the one(s) you already play, what would it be and why?
It’d have to be a lute or theorbo, because then I could just jump from harpsichord to play it whenever I felt the music called for it.
If you could play a duet with any living musician, living or dead, who would it be and what would you play?
Herbie Hancock, and we’d play “Chameleon.”
What’s your favorite music-based movie or TV show and why?
“West Side Story.” Pure genius, innovative for its time and it never seems dated.
What’s something about you that no one would know just by attending a LACO concert?
In my late teens I wanted to become a doctor with the Peace Corps. I trained as a nurse and volunteered for 2 summers in rural areas in Guatemala and Colombia treating things like tarantula and snake bites and kwashiorkor, which is malnutrition.
In addition to her work with LACO, Mabee is also principal keyboard with the New West Symphony Orchestra. She made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1982, and has since given recitals on four continents. She has made regular appearances at the Oregon Bach Festival, as well as at the Casals, Chamber Music Northwest, Ojai and Los Angeles Bach festivals. Mabee performs with the Bach’s Circle and is the music director of Ritornello, a period instrument ensemble. Mabee can be heard on many film soundtracks including Marie Antoinette and Master and Commander.
Specializing in Early Music, Tisha received a Master’s degree in keyboard performance from California Institute of the Arts. She is currently on both the CalArts and Colburn School Conservatory of Music faculties.