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On the Cover: Kuan Cheng Lu

Meet violinist Kuan Cheng Lu, the December On the Cover musician!

In the video above, Kuan shares the moving story of how his mother foresaw his future with the Philharmonic. On December 15, he will take over our Instagram. Follow us to get a sneak peek at what life is like in the string section of the Philharmonic.

Kuan will be the first On the Cover musician to participate in a live Twitter Q&A. Follow us on Twitter, and we’ll let you know when Kuan will answer all your questions about violin technique, performing with the Philharmonic, or even about his favorite places to eat in New York.

Have you ever wanted to check out the Philharmonic’s Archives? If so, we have a holiday present for you! Kuan will take us on a video tour with Philharmonic Archivist Barbara Haws later in the month. After spending days doing research in the Archives for his doctorate, Kuan is an authority. (If you can’t wait, visit the Leon Levy Digital Archives to hold you over.)

Learn more about Kuan Cheng Lu.

Heart-Stopping Classical Moments from Sherry Sylar

“To be able to sit onstage at the New York Philharmonic and hear these wonderful musical phrases that come out of my Orchestra — it is magic every week.”

This month’s On the Cover featured musician, Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar, shares some other magical moments: her list of “heart-stopping" moments in classical music. We'll let Sherry take it from here:

Why a list of "heart-stopping" moments? When I was a freshman in college, one of my professors reveled in playing musical moments that were, to him, magical. I will never forget the effect that these moments had on me. It was profound.

I realize now that we, as music educators, have a responsibility to encourage students to listen with their hearts. Our industry is so competitive that often students focus on being technically perfect. They forget the reason they are musicians — to touch the heart!

The following list contains some of my favorite “heart-stopping" moments, a list that is by no means complete!

Bach “Liebster Gott, erbarme dich” from Cantata BWV 179 (conducted by John Eliot Gardiner)

Bach Double Concerto for Two Violins, Second Movement

Barber Violin Concerto, Second Movement

Barber Cello Concerto, Second Movement

Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Third Movement

Brahms Symphony No. 3, Third Movement

Brahms Piano Quartet in C minor, Third Movement (performed by Artur Rubenstein with the Guarneri Quartet)

Dvořák Symphony No. 7, Third Movement

Elgar Enigma Variations, Nimrod

Mozart Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola, Second Movement

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, Romeo at Juliet’s Grave

Puccini La rondine, “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” (performed by Montserrat Caballé)

Rachmaninoff Vocalise

Ravel Piano Concerto, Second Movement

Shostakovich Symphony No. 1, Third Movement

Schumann Symphony No. 2, Third Movement

Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Verdi Requiem, Introit

Hear them for yourself in the Spotify playlist above, and check out our Tumblr post for Sherry's bonus heart-stopping moments from the Broadway and pop worlds.

On the Cover: Sherry Sylar

Do you choose your instrument, or does the instrument choose you?

Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar, our On the Cover musician this month, began her musical life as a flautist, then the oboe “spoke to her.” This fateful decision put Sherry on a trajectory that has brought her to where she is today.

In our new On the Cover video (above), Sherry describes some of her favorite moments from the 31 seasons she has been a member of the Orchestra, from playing under Bernstein in a concert celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall to the everyday joy of making beautiful music with her colleagues. 

Later this month, check out the Philharmonic’s Tumblr, where Sherry will post a list of her “Heart-Stopping Moments” in the repertoire. And on November 10, Sherry will take over our Instagram for the day, giving us a look at her world and life.

Learn more about Sherry Sylar


On the Cover: Blake Hinson Gives a New View on Strauss

In this final installment of this month's On the Cover series, Philharmonic bassist Blake Hinson gives us his perspective on Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. Blake plays a bow's-eye-view excerpt of the spinning, energy-building — and, for bassists, pulse-racing — section beginning at rehearsal nine.

Learn more about Blake Hinson.

On the Cover: Blake Hinson

Star Wars or Star Trek? 

A. Star Wars

B. Star Trek

C. Neither

D. AAooooo….Noooo  (read: cannot compute, decision not possible)

If your answer was D, you and October’s On the Cover musician, Philharmonic double bassist Blake Hinson, can relate.

Get to know Blake through his video Q&A above.

You’ll also see Blake in action, behind the scenes, in another Instagram Tuesday Takeover. Bass nerds, Blake will blow your mind with his GoPro video of Rehearsal 9 of Ein Heldenleben.

Tune in to the Philharmonic’s Spotify account and jam along with Blake’s mixtape. See below.

Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr, and YouTube to get the full On the Cover experience! See all the On the Cover posts here.

Learn more about Blake Hinson.

On the Cover: Pascual Martínez Forteza

How do you get to be in the New York Philharmonic? Be extraordinary.

Philharmonic musicians are models of extraordinary virtuosity and determination, on top of being extraordinarily cool people! That’s why we’re launching On the Covera new series highlighting Philharmonic musicians.

Over the past few years, you've seen that a different Philharmonic musician graces the cover of Playbill each month. On the Cover gives each cover musician an opportunity to engage with you in new and exciting ways on social media and nyphil.org. 

We love sharing concert photos, intriguing stories, and behind-the-stage action with our social-media followers, and now we are excited to share engaging content designed by and/or featuring our cover musicians. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, Tumblr, and YouTube to get the full On the Cover experience!

Our first On the Cover musician, on the September Playbill, is clarinetist Pascual Martínez Forteza. Later this month, we'll share his curated Spotify playlist [see below] of what he's listening to, plus a video in which he plays some of his favorite parts of Beethoven's Seventh. Pascual will also take over our Instagram account to show you life as an Orchestra musician through his eyes.

We hope you like On the Cover — let us know what you think!

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