Q. Who inspired you to pursue music as a career?
A. John Kendall. I had the incredibly good fortune to study violin with him from the age of five until I left for college. Not only was he musically inspiring, he taught me how to practice scientifically and efficiently.
Q. What new endeavors would you like to see the CPO pursue in the future?
A. Another early inspiration that I remember was a kiddie concert by the St. Louis Symphony. We see a lot of students and young people at CPO concerts, but any expansions in that area would be worthwhile.
Q. What do you like most about the CPO’s ensemble approach to creating music?
A. I think you can tell when an orchestra’s section leaders and members play a lot of chamber music together as we do. It heightens the degree of communication and the listening intensity. Plus the CPO’s core is the Lyric Opera Orchestra, already an incredibly flexible and adaptable ensemble. This is what makes the Chicago Philharmonic one of a kind. It’s a large orchestra with the maneuverability of a chamber orchestra. And in Larry Rachleff we have a charismatic conductor who leads strongly without ever stifling the spirit of chamber music.