Six Musical Heroes Speak to Interlochen Campers

August 7, 2020, 2:08 PM · When I was a music student, I would have given anything to ask questions of my musical heroes. That’s exactly what intermediate and high school students at Interlochen Online got to do through an innovative "Real Life" Industry Seminar. Hosted by inaugural Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra Cristian Macelaru, the seminar allowed campers to hear from six of Macelaru’s famous colleagues.

Nicola and Ray
Violinists Nicola Benedetti and Ray Chen.

Here is the star-studded lineup:

Check out the brief video below to hear these great artists answer some interesting questions: Where do you get your inspiration, Mr. Marsalis? (His response was my personal favorite.) How did you feel after you won the Pulitzer Prize, Ms. Higdon? What’s your advice for staying focused when practicing, Ms. Benedetti? Do you still get nervous, Mr. Denk? Do you practice those facial expressions, Mr. Chen? How does it feel to play in one of the greatest orchestras in the world, Mr. Pahud? (My only complaint with this video is that I wanted it to go on forever. I would love to hear the full-length seminars. Those, however, are reserved for Interlochen campers.)

Interlochen’s arts camp was virtual this summer for the first time. Even so, it was "attended" by over 1,400 students in grades 2-12 from 47 states, 21 countries, and five continents. Interlochen Online students enjoyed master classes, virtual studio performances and private lessons, an assortment of elective classes, and a taste of camp life through virtual cabins and "Camp-in-a-Box" activities (supplies sent to students' homes prior to camp).

Bravo to Interlochen and all the other music camps that worked so diligently to keep the music alive for students this summer during the pandemic.

You might also like:

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  • Interview with Nicola Benedetti: Wynton Marsalis's New Violin Concerto
  • “Les Préludes” at Interlochen: A 93-Year Tradition Continues
  • Replies

    August 7, 2020 at 10:43 PM · What a lineup! The key word in the opening statements of the interviews was "journey". Oh yes! A lifelong journey it is. And we really only understand that as we get older and then wish we had accelerated the journey when we were younger. And connecting breathing of your body with breathing of music caught my eye immediately. I'm fascinated by that because being a stage manager, when I get to a difficult section to call, (they occur more in big musicals than opera) a few deep breaths always works. I'm a big believer of that not only then but in any difficult situation. I agree with you - I'd LOVE to hear that whole interview! Those kids at Interlochen are very fortunate.

    August 7, 2020 at 11:45 PM · Joe: I'm so glad you enjoyed the clip! I did as well. I thought what Jeremy Denk said about breathing was great. Thanks, as always, for reading and weighing in!

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