Roth Conducts the "Eroica"

Saturday, December 5, 2020

François-Xavier Roth leads the BSO in Gossec's Symphonie à 17 parties and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, as well as Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp, featuring BSO Principal Flutist Elizabeth Rowe and BSO Principal Harpist Jessica Zhou.

Encore broadcast from January 9, 2016

Boston Symphony Orchestra
François-Xavier Roth, conductor
Elizabeth Rowe, flute
Jessica Zhou, harp

GOSSEC Symphonie à 17 parties
MOZART Concerto in C for Flute and Harp, K.299
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"

François-Xavier Roth talks with WCRB's Brian McCreath about the French connections among the works on the program, and how the revolutionary character of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony remains relevant to today's world:

BSO Principal Flutist Elizabeth Rowe and Principal Harpist Jessica Zhou describe the collaborative process at work in Mozart's concerto for their instruments, how each of them began playing her chosen instrument, and a key characteristic that defines the sound of the Boston Symphony:

Transcript of François-Xavier Roth interview:

Brian McCreath (BM) [00:00:00] I'm Brian McCreath from WCRB, sitting with François-Xavier Roth, who is here with the Boston Symphony for the second time, and it's so good to have you back. Thank you for taking a few minutes with me.

François-Xavier Roth (FXR) [00:00:09] Thank you. My pleasure.

BM [00:00:10] Well, the program that you've constructed here has this sort of thread running through it. And I think it's a really cool way to organize a program. At least I think this is how you organized it. It is essentially Germanic music, but all with a connection to France. Is that basically what you are trying to put together with this program?

FXR [00:00:29] Yes. The the common point of these three works is really how the French did influence music in their time, and which is a very special time after the French Revolution, La Révolution Française. And I started from the third of Beethoven, "Eroica." And I did build the whole program with this idea: how the French did influence composers like Mozart, composers like Beethoven, not maybe in their style, but in the in the way that all these new ideas that came from the Révolution Française did affect the composers. So that's the theme. And we can have it in mind, we can have it not in mind. It's equal for the audience, but it's really built on this idea.

BM [00:01:34] And I was fascinated to get to learn a little of the music of Gossec, not a composer, I admit, that I had been familiar with before. Would French audiences be more familiar with his music?

FXR [00:01:45] No. But, you know, in France, music is very often, especially French musicians, composers are not so celebrated in their own country, unfortunately. With Berlioz it's the same, for a long time with Rameau was the same. Gossec is not so much played.

[00:02:05] But I have to say that I, I perform his music very often with a great pleasure. And I'm very, very excited to bring this composer here in Boston because I think it's the first time the orchestra played some Gossec symphony and it is really a fascinating musician. He lived more than 95 years. Could you imagine in this time? So that means that he was born like a child of Johann Sebastian Bach, and he died when he could meet Berlioz.

[00:02:41] So it's fascinating to see in this time and not only the length of his life, but also, in a way, the way that his music develop through the periods.

[00:02:56] So and this particular symphony, La Symphonie á 17 Parties, is a work which probably has been written for the anniversary of the Révolution Française. And I think it's really exciting to see that this work and Beethoven's Eroica are very close in terms of years. And Beethoven Eroica is a little bit before. And it's fascinating to see how Gossec did develop his own language, which is absolutely nothing to do with Beethoven, but to do with Haydn in his own way. So it's, I think, exciting.

BM [00:03:38] And is there anything if you compare it to playing or conducting a Haydn symphony, how different is it? Is there anything you do differently with Gossec that you might not do with Haydn?

FXR [00:03:48] I mean, the music is different in the way that Gossec, like many French composers, are more interested sometimes with experiences than efficiency. And you can see in the form, in the structure, in the way that he organizes the orchestra. It's something very original. It's nothing to do with with Haydn. Or, Haydn also is original in his way. But there is, there are much more experimentation in Gossec. And this is exciting.

BM [00:04:27] And just you saying that sort of brings to mind, it, maybe not musically, but in a spiritual sense, maybe it's almost a forerunner of Satie, music of experience, not so much of structure or organization, but of an experience from moment to moment.

FXR [00:04:45] Yes, it's so, we can find that already with Rameau.

[00:04:49] Jean-Philippe Rameau is an expérimentateur, and Debussy, until Boulez, you know, all this French music sometimes is so complex at the beginning, because it's not pragmatic. It's like we are in a laboratoire, and with Gossec is really the same, really the same. And I think that he was a great friend of Mozart. We can hear that in the second movement, Mozart apparently was fascinated by his requiem, Gossec. And in Mozart's Requiem, we can find many, many quotes of Gossec's music. So it's really an unknown, important composer.

BM [00:05:34] OK, so speaking of Mozart, you chose specifically the Concerto for Flute and Harp, and there are other pieces by Mozart that would have a connection to France. There's plenty of others. But what was it about this piece that made you want to take it on as part of this program?

FXR [00:05:48] I mean, because it's really the famous concerto which was written in Paris. It was a time where when Mozart came to Paris with his mother, and there is another concerto who was written in Paris, the Sinfonia Concertante for Winds, which is unfortunately lost. We don't have the original parts, but the flute and harp concerto is the famous Mozart concerto, which was written in Paris. And it's interesting also to see how Mozart in this specific work, also in the Paris Symphony, he was influenced by the French orchestras. The French orchestras in Europe were very special. It was not like in Germany or in Austria, the size of the orchestra were quite reasonable with very, very parallel forces in the orchestra, the winds and the strings. In Paris, it was famous that the orchestra were huge. So it was a time where you could find 10, 12 double basses in orchestra. Forces that today we can't find a specific reason why 18, 16 second violins, six or eight bassoons and very few violas. So it was at the time the fame in Paris, la môde, and the famous famous orchestra of this time in Paris was Le Concert Spirituel. It was a beautiful orchestra, very brilliant. And Mozart wrote many works for this brilliant orchestra.

BM [00:07:37] I loved everything you're saying here because it's drawing other connections in my mind and now it doesn't seem so absurd, or, it never was absurd, but why it's maybe not so out of the question that Berlioz would have thought of such large orchestras. It was already in the air from a few decades earlier.

FXR [00:07:53] Sure, sure, sure. There is this tradition, this tradition in France.

BM [00:07:56]  OK, so the last time you were here, you conducted Beethoven's Fourth Symphony. And one of the things that you told me, which I just love, is that you said every Beethoven symphony, each one of them gives us a chance to ask what the purpose of music is, or where music plays in our life. And I just have to ask, how does the Eroica symphony play in our lives?

FXR [00:08:19] Well, I mean, for me, it's true that Beethoven, when he writes every time a symphony, he doesn't think of a catalog, he thinks that a symphony is an occasion to also experiment, to say something about his life, his thoughts. And for sure, Eroica is such an fascinating example of how was Beethoven in this period.

[00:08:53] It's a time when he wanted to live in Paris because he was, he found before that Napoleon was a great guy. He was fascinated by the revolution, by all the intellectuals and the philosophers from Paris.

[00:09:14] He found that in France and Paris, it was moving more than anywhere else in Europe. Naturally, after that, after the couronnement de Napoleon, he was not happy anymore with Napoleon Bonaparte. He found that he was an imposter. But I think any way this revolution aspect, mood, go through the symphony. It is not anymore, for the first time, a very rational form of music. The symphony becomes something huge, something gigantesque. How do we say in English?

BM [00:09:59] Gigantic.

FXR [00:10:00] Gigantic, and never before a symphony was long as Eroica. Never before an orchestra sounded like five or ten orchestra, so loud and so soft in the beginning of second movement.

[00:10:18] It is a work that, every time I think for me as a performer fascinates me. There is a miracle of Erica and for me even more than with the Fifth Symphony. The Fifth for sure, is also something quite tensed, intense. And I mean, Eroica-- and also, in the turn of performing this music, I said to the Boston Symphony Orchestra before Eroica and still in Eroica, it is not a time where, when conductors exists. The conductor job doesn't exist. But with Eroica, it's the first music where you can really notice how is it possible to play without a conductor? And this is a good example to to describe the avant-garde of this music. He doesn't think pragmatically. He thinks only music and with new elements also in the way that how can we coordinate musicians together? He doesn't care. He writes for the future.

BM [00:11:38] And in that sense, it circles right back to what you were saying earlier about French music in general, that it's not so much pragmatic or practical. It's about the emotion and the spirit of the music.

FXR [00:11:51] Yeah, exactly. And with Beethoven really, and with his work, I always think-- people say very often that Eroica is the first Romantic work in music history. But I think for me it's much more than that. It's the first really modern music. And I love the way that-- and we're going to, we're going to have surprises, because I did re-work the autograph. You know, there is such stories about Beethoven symphony parts. I mean, when he was still alive, there were so many mistakes because simply the publishers didn't understand his music and didn't trust the notation of Beethoven. And recently I discovered again with the autograph of Eroica that certainly at the beginning of the finale, when he gives the theme before the variations, certainly there is something special and we're going to play it with the Boston Symphony. I think it's the first time in Boston also that the orchestra will play in this solution.

BM [00:13:05] Wow. This is something really to look forward to. As we speak, word has just spread through today that Pierre Boulez has passed away at the age of 90, a long, rich life. It's hard to imagine another musician who's had more impact on the world than he has and certainly a French musician. I can't imagine someone from the last century having more of an impact. What are your thoughts? Did did you know Maestro Boulez?

FXR [00:13:30] I had the opportunity to be very close of him. Um, first I met him as an assistant conductor when I was assistant conductor of the London Symphony in 2000. And then he invited me very, very often to conduct his Ensemble Intercontemporain. And when I was nominated in Germany at the Südwestrundfunk Orchestra, the orchestra is based in Baden-Baden in Freiburg, where he lived. So we spent a lot of time together. I'm very lucky because I don't know how many dinners or lunch we spent together. And I ask him thousands of questions and I am so, so sad in a way today. But as I saw him recently, he was really in not good conditions. And in a way also I feel very happy in a way, because this death, which is very sad for sure, is a kind of liberation. And this man gave so much to the musicians and so much for the musical life. I wrote this morning that he's, from my point of view, the greatest composer alive that passed away today, but he's not only a great composer, he's also a fascinating musician who really forced, with a very dynamic gesture, forced us to believe in the future.

[00:15:15] So he did invent new structures, new institutions. Sometimes he was very rude to the orchestra or to the opera company to provoke them and to insist to program this program and this program, and I think that everything that he gave, we're going to discover his legacy now, and we are all sad because he was a, you know, he was, I can't say, there is not good words. I can say a god because he was nothing religious. I can't say a guide. But he was such like a sun, you know, a sun, everybody can take the warmth of a sun. Everybody can have an impact. Personal impact. Boulez was a sun for music.

BM [00:16:15] And I love the idea that he forced people to believe in the future, something that the orchestral world doesn't necessarily always think about.

FXR [00:16:24] You know, when we spoke. And it was so interesting for me because, I mean, my generation, we don't have to fight so much like he did there. But for example, when he did when he conducted the first of Wozzeck by Alban Berg in Paris Opéra, not a single musician in the orchestra wanted to play this music.

[00:16:47] He had to convince every musician and the same for Schoenberg, the same for Bartok in many, many orchestras. I mean, it was really a fight and nothing to talk with for sure that the more modern piece, like Stockhausen, his own music, or Beriot. So he was really a pioneer and somebody who radically changed the way that we can take risk with music. And it's something that I like so much. Music is is nothing to do with a museum. Music is to do with shaking us as people. And so he was great also for that.

BM [00:17:32] François-Xavier Roth, thank you so much for those comments and for the time you spent today.

FXR [00:17:36] My pleasure. My pleasure.

Transcript of Elizabeth Rowe and Jessica Zhou interview:

Brian McCreath (BM) [00:00:00] I'm Brian McCreath from WCRB with Elizabeth Rowe, the Principal Flutist of the Boston Symphony, and Jessica Zhou, the Principal Harpist. And the two of you are the soloists for the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto. Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk with me about it today.

Elizabeth Rowe (ER) [00:00:13] Thanks for having us.

Jessica Zhou (JZ) [00:00:14] Thank you for having us here.

BM [00:00:16] So I wondered how much you got together beforehand. Is the Mozart a piece that you, the two of you had to gather together and figure out what you're doing well ahead of time? Or is it the kind of thing that sort of falls into place pretty quickly, Elizabeth?

ER [00:00:31] Well, we met well over a month ago, I think primarily to decide which cadenzas we were going to use, which was something that we wanted to do enough in advance so that we could assimilate them and feel comfortable with them. And then we met again for a pretty long rehearsal just a few days before we brought the piece to the orchestra to sort out some interpretational choices.

BM [00:00:51] So that really doesn't feel like a lot of time that you would spend together before diving right in.

JZ [00:00:57] I think this is one of the pieces for myself. I have done it numerous times with different flutists, and, but with Elizabeth, because I have worked with her numerous times with chamber music settings, chamber players, so I'm pretty comfortable, you know, kind of timing-wise, just from playing in the orchestra. I think I know her timings and we know each other's timings. So we didn't really need to go into too many rehearsals to decide. So it sort of plays by itself. But then we did decide on certain dynamics here and there, and of course, the cadenzas.

BM [00:01:32] Sure. Sure. That makes sense. That makes sense. So, Elizabeth, there are other flute concertos that Mozart wrote, and I wonder how different or similar his writing is in this piece compared to those other concertos?

ER [00:01:43] You know, it's interesting. I think this is my favorite of the three by a long shot.

BM [00:01:47] Oh, wow.

ER [00:01:47] It's so, it's so beautiful. It's really just absolutely a gem from start to finish. And, you know, the writing is pretty similar between all three. But I think this one has some just extraordinarily beautiful moments that just make it really exceptional, and I think in a little bit of a different category from the other two, frankly.

BM [00:02:06] OK, OK. Yeah, that's interesting because, I mean, you're not the only one in the spotlight.

ER [00:02:11] Right, well, that also makes it a lot of fun. I mean, it's really great to collaborate with Jessica and just to share the stage in that way. And I think that the the writing is, I mean, it's quite beautiful for both instruments, I think.

JZ [00:02:21] It's definitely, well, this is the only Mozart for harp. So, and it's really a standard, it's a masterpiece for harpists. Every harpist has to play this, but it's also a very low-- it's difficult, but in a sense, when I'm on stage, I feel, you know, I have somebody with me on stage. It takes some of the pressure away and it makes it a lot more fun.

BM [00:02:44] Yeah. Yeah. When you say it's a masterpiece for the harp, do you mean that Mozart wrote really well for the harp like he really knew what he was doing with the instrument?

JZ [00:02:52] This is actually one of the-- it may sound very simple, like any Mozart, but it's actually very difficult on the harp because in fact, I think this is written for not a modern day harp. That's why, I think that's the majority of the reason why is in C Major, because although it does modulate quite a bit, it does get chromatic. But at the time, the harp, probably it was written for a harp with two levels of pedal changes. So which means it's not chromatically ranging wise. It cannot be too, too chromatic in essence. Yeah.

BM [00:03:26] Right.

JZ [00:03:26] So for harpists, I think any time when harpists play scales on the harp is very difficult because, you know, we play with our fingers and each of our fingers are a different length. So if you have to play a certain degree, like a certain tempo, you have to make all the fingers sound very even as if they're all the one length. And I think that's the most difficult part of this, this concerto. And of course, you know, there's, on top of that, you have arpeggios, so up to tempo, this is really, you can tell right away, you know, from the very first arpeggio, the first harp solo. You know, if somebody, you know, is sounding good or having a hard time because it's just shows so much.

ER [00:04:05] Well, and Jessica has phenomenal, phenomenal facility. So she makes this sound where you would never guess listening to her. I know from having played this piece also a number of times how difficult it is for the harp and she just knocks it off no problem.

BM [00:04:19] Yeah, but this is the kind of thing that would never occur to someone who hasn't sat down and tried to play harp, that the different lengths of your fingers causes actually kind of a difficulty.

JZ [00:04:28] Yes. So if you think about the simplest thing, like a scale on any instruments, but on the harp, because our length, and we only use four fingers because our pinky is way too short. So therefore, you know, it's when you play any scale that's longer than four notes, you have to make all these turns and all the turnarounds has to sound very smooth and that's what makes it difficult.

BM [00:04:50] Right, right. Elizabeth, how early did flute become sort of the center of what you wanted to do with your life?

ER [00:04:56] Well, the story goes that when I was, according to my parents, when I was in kindergarten, I wanted to start to play the flute because I really was drawn. My parents played a lot of classical recordings in the house, and I always was drawn to that sound, which was the flute. And I told them I wanted to start the flute. And they said if I still wanted to start the flute when I was seven, then I could. And so I stuck it out, and I was determined.

BM [00:05:21] [Laughs] I see how persistent you are.

ER [00:05:21] I was persistent. So I started at seven and had few little bubbles and bumps along the way early on, but was pretty serious by, you know, late middle school and definitely in high school. So, you know, more or less since I've been seven.

BM [00:05:33] And Jessica, I know that your mom was a harpist and it was really early that you had a harp around the house that you could sort of play with. But she started you on piano.

JZ [00:05:42] She started me on the piano. In fact, I always find it interesting because all my friends like Elizabeth here, when I came to the states, that most of my colleagues who are born and raised in America, they chose their instrument, like they wanted to play it. I think I just grew up in a, in China it's a different thing because, you know, in China at the time, my parents even today, my mom was saying that at the time they wanted kids to learn music because it was a really better way to make a living, actually. So at the time, you know, because my parents both worked in the orchestra and that it was much more stable. It was you know, it wasn't rich income because nobody was rich at the time in China, but it's just very stable. So you knew you kind of, you can be in an orchestra and you can make a pretty good living. So I don't remember being, you know, really wanting to play the piano. I never wanted to play the piano. So but my mom said, you have to learn, keep an instrument. So I said, well, I was very drawn to the harp because she had the one at home and I thought it was more like a toy because you can pluck the strings with your fingers. I just always thought it was more fun than the piano. So that's how I took on the harp.

BM [00:06:54] Yeah. Do you remember that time when your family came to the United States? I mean, what do you remember about that time and your first arriving?

JZ [00:07:04] Well, due to the, at the time, it was very hard to get a visa for Chinese to come into the U.S. So I actually couldn't come with my parents at the same time as they got there.

BM [00:07:15] Oh, I didn't realize that. Okay.

JZ [00:07:17] So they came three years before. Well, my mom came first and then my dad came a year after she did. And then I was able finally to get my visa like three years after she did. So there was three years I was only in China living with my grandmother.

BM [00:07:34] Oh, wow. OK, OK. And so by the time you got here, your parents were fairly established and you had a slightly smoother ride.

JZ [00:07:40] Yeah. I think a part of it, yes.

BM [00:07:42] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Wow. So Elizabeth, you've been in the orchestra, this is your 12th season.

ER [00:07:48] That's right.

BM [00:07:48] Right. So I'm curious about what you feel like, if anything, has the BSO changed over the last 12 years?

ER [00:07:56] Oh, gosh, I think the BSO, I mean, has changed in a number of ways and also has stayed the same in some important ways, too. So, yeah, I think there's been a lot of just personnel turnover within the orchestra since I've been here. So there's a lot of young players and a lot of really wonderful sort of personal energy within the orchestra. I think it's a very happy environment at the moment. And there's just a lot of positive energy, which is wonderful. There's also, thankfully, a really strong contingent of musicians who've been part of the tradition of the orchestra for a really long time.

[00:08:32] And they help us, all of us who come in younger and newer sort of learn the tradition of the orchestra and the sound of the orchestra and understand the context of the way the orchestra plays. And so I feel like I just snuck in at a time when I was able to still work with some of these great maestros that we are losing now. So it's a real, I feel like I really barely got that into that generation that had access to those, that certain kind of musical mind that those great maestros have. So I'm grateful for that. But certainly a lot of the people who've been in the orchestra for much longer have an even deeper sense of all of that.

BM [00:09:14] Yeah, I know it's one of the great things about a place with a tradition like this that there are these things that are passed on to new generations. Jessica, when you came and this is your seventh season now.

JZ [00:09:24] Yes.

BM [00:09:25] And do you feel like all of that, this passing along of an identity and connection to great musicians of the past, has that changed your playing very much?

JZ [00:09:37] I think it's bettered my playing because it makes you nothing but to match, you know, what the level is expected. And it's very, the environment of the orchestra you come into to work, it's just very enjoyable, because you're always, you're trying to, I think one thing that I learned really quickly is timing, of the, how to fit in, you know, especially for harp, because I think even though it is not an instrument like flute, you know, any time it's very so exposed, the solos. But when I do it, so plucking instruments, or where I pluck, where I make that strike, it makes a huge difference. And I had to learn very quickly. You know, this orchestra tends to, has a tendency to play a little bit behind the beat. And it's something that, you know, eventually you just get the hang of the timing, and then you, sort of, it doesn't matter who's on the podium. You sort of do it as a orchestra, as a whole. And I think that's definitely part of example of a tradition of a great orchestra.

ER [00:10:34] I had to learn that, too. That exact lesson. [Laughs]

BM [00:10:36] So this is interesting, because I think that if someone were to hear a player in the orchestra say, well, this orchestra plays behind the beat, that might sort of at first strike you as, well, that's a problem. But it's actually not. It's just a character. And so talk about that, Elizabeth. What does that do? What does that mean in terms of what an audience member hears?

ER [00:10:55] Right. Well, it's a great question because I think that someone might very easily say, why don't you just play on the beat? That would be so much simpler. But I think what comes from playing a little bit behind the beat is the quality of the attack. The quality of the start of the sound that we make is not so kind of sharp and clipped and hard the way that often happens when you're really trying to meet the beat precisely. So what this does is it gives sort of a depth and richness to the start of the sound, which is really characteristic of this orchestra in general. And it just because of the physicality of playing an instrument, it's almost impossible to get that depth of the sound and have it be bingo, right on the spot, right on the mark with the beat. It is just kind of a natural thing that evolves with the orchestra. Also, there's a lot of chamber music style of communication within the orchestra, too, and so when you're looking at somebody else, and Jessica's talking about the timing and learning how to play together, there's a visual component of that. You see and you wait and you move together, you breathe together, you play together.

[00:11:56] And that just inevitably takes that little tiny bit of time for everybody to be on that wavelength together, and then we go.

JZ [00:12:05] I think this orchestra, one of the other characteristics is the way we blend. We blend a really well to each other. And that's something, again, you just have to open your ears. I had to learn really quickly and what to listen for. And eventually you just you do it at the same time as the others. [Laughs]

[00:12:26] In fact, I was talking to my mom and she said she went to the rehearsal because she was in the orchestra where BSO played, had an exchange program in 1979.

BM [00:12:36] Yeah, right.

JZ [00:12:37] So she said that--.

BM [00:12:38] She was in the orchestra, when that happened?

JZ [00:12:39] No, she was in the National Orchestra.

BM [00:12:41] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So she was in the exchange. That's amazing.

JZ [00:12:44] So she said they did the opening of Beethoven's Fifth with, well, it had to be Seiji. So she said it was amazing because they saw the beat come down, but there was no sound. But then when the orchestra played the first of all, it was so together they were amazed. But she said it was not at all what they are used to. She said they don't know how the orchestra played together, but it was just so amazingly together. But yet it was not with, that's what they remember, it was not with the conductor. So, you know, that's even back then, I think it's something very special.

BM [00:13:16] Yeah, I think it is one of the defining characteristics of the orchestra. And in a certain way, it's organic because it comes from lots of people over lots of time. But it's also on another level, it's actually a decision because there are other orchestras that almost do the opposite. Their goal is to be right on top of the beat.

ER [00:13:34] Yeah, right. Right. And I think that that's just, it's just you can hear that in the different qualities. And it's not necessarily that one is maybe better than the other, although I think we would probably strongly prefer the sound that we get. But I think that it's just a different aesthetic. And so there are certainly orchestras that pride themselves on a kind of precision and clarity of ensemble.

JZ [00:13:54] It's different styles.

ER [00:13:54] Just different. And a lot of that is also a product of the hall that we play in, too.

JZ [00:13:58] Absolutely. Yes.

ER [00:13:59] It's just this hall kind of asks for that richness and warmth.

BM [00:14:02] Yeah. Yeah. So it's hard to talk with any players in the BSO right now without asking you, just tell me about Andris. What's he like to work with?

JZ [00:14:13] I think, I think we're we're so lucky to have him and everybody. I think that's why people seem it's a happy environment because everybody-- he makes people, he's a, I think one word to describe him is he's very genuine and he's, you know, he's young and he's not pretentious.

[00:14:29] And he, you know, there are times, he's young, he's just, he's very relatable. I mean, you can talk to him. Yeah. So I think it makes it makes the music making very neutral. So it makes everybody wants to, you know, play our best. And it's very exciting. So, yeah. Because he's young, so all the, I feel the performances, you know, in the beginning I had a little hard time because I feel that in the rehearsals and then what he does, he gets so emotional. You know, sometimes he does different things in performance. But I think that's what makes it exciting. And that's something it's a learning process, you know, on both ends.

ER [00:15:04] He also, I've heard him speak very eloquently about the place of classical music in our culture and the value of it. And he's a really remarkable advocate, I think, for music in our general society, in the schools, in our, you know, basically anywhere that we can extend ourselves into the community. And I think that that's something that is an unexpected and really wonderful quality that he brings to his role with the orchestra, is a real ambassador out to the community in a way. I heard him do an interview on the radio, and he was so absolutely sincere.

JZ [00:15:40] Yeah.

ER [00:15:41] And very compelling. And I'm a musician. I know why we're supposed to, why music is important, so I don't need to be convinced. But I just, was quite, I found it very compelling.

BM [00:15:50] Yeah.

ER [00:15:51] I was really appreciative of that.

JZ [00:15:52] No, I think he definitely you know, when he speaks, you can tell he's a sincere person and it shows in the music making. He's, you know, very genuine.

BM [00:15:59] Yeah, that's great. That's great. Well, Elizabeth Rowe, Jessica Zhou, thank you so much for taking some time to talk with me today.

JZ [00:16:05] Thank you, Brian.

ER [00:16:06] Thank you.