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5x5 Five Minutes, Five Questions Christopher Coletti

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The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas opens its season with Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, "featuring some of the most beautiful instrumental solo writing ever," music director Paul Haas says.

"This piece is an orchestral tour de force, played masterfully by Northwest Arkansas' finest musicians."

FAQ

SoNA:

Masterworks I

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — $30-$52

INFO — 443-5600

But that's not all. The concert also features Haas' original "Dream," an orchestral journey that "moves audiences from a slowly expanding, ecstatic spiral into the musical equivalent of a deep ethereal sleep," and Haydn's "ever popular" Concerto for Trumpet with guest artist Christopher Coletti, "a technical superstar and household name through his work with the Canadian Brass Quintet."

Coletti took time from his world travels to answer these questions for What's Up!

Q. What is the first piece of music you remember, the one that made you think "I want to do this"?

A. This is a tough question! My parents were always great at sharing great music with me. I always remember loving Bach, and also Beethoven. The moment that knew I had to play music professionally was probably the first time I was in a high quality orchestra (for my age at least): It was a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. I still remember being overwhelmed by the lush sound of the orchestra, and I remember noticing that that initial impact the sound had on me really never faded. It still hasn't.

Q. Who put a trumpet in your hands? And why a trumpet?

A. I originally chose the clarinet. My grandfather plays clarinet, and I always looked up to him. My band director must have had too many clarinet players, so he made up the excuse,"Your hands are too small," and handed me a trumpet!

Q. What is your favorite genre of music to play?

A. Bach. Bach isn't a genre, but the quality is so exceptional it certainly deserves to be. I've always leaned towards the Baroque sound, but by now my listening habits are that of a typical 21st century human: My musical obsessions have taken me through Western classical music, North Indian classical music, progressive rock -- and even EDM (electronic dance music). The list includes more than I could list here.

Q. What do you enjoy about the Haydn piece you'll play here?

A. We trumpeters are fortunate enough that a composer on Haydn's level wrote us a solo piece at all -- and it happens to be a superb one! It has all the elegance one would hope for in a classical concerto but has a tremendously joyous affect, all within a very "classical" style. It's truly a masterpiece! It also has a unique story. The trumpet didn't evolve to have valves until recently; before that the only notes available on trumpet were that of the harmonic series (this explains why Baroque concerti like Bach's famous Brandenburg concerto is so high in the range). Haydn wrote his trumpet concerto for an interesting hybrid instrument, the "keyed trumpet," which was essentially an old trumpet design outfitted with saxophone-like keys, enabling the instrument to play full chromatic scales. This also displayed the trumpet in a range never heard before: chromatic scales in the mid-range was never before heard! While the piece failed to popularize the keyed-trumpet, Haydn's Trumpet Concerto lives on.

Q. What is an "ordinary" day in your life like these days?

A. No two days are the same. I travel a lot -- my three week European tour with Canadian Brass ends just days before my appearance with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. When I am not performing and touring I also teach my students at Brooklyn College Conservatory and New Jersey City University and my private studio on Skype. I try to give back to the trumpet community via my blog trumpetchrisblog.com where I share performance advice, music and practice tips. My wife and I try to spend as much time together as we can; we enjoy nature and playing music together (she's a violinist).

-- Becca Martin-Brown

bmartin@nwadg.com

NAN What's Up on 10/06/2017

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