Q&A: Violinist Charles Wetherbee on becoming the Boulder Philharmonic’s new concertmaster
(Photo: CPR/Irvin Coffee)Violinist Charles Wetherbee will be sitting at the head of all the violins on Saturday night in his first performance as the newly appointed concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic.
Wetherbee is a soloist, a chamber musician and a recording artist, and a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
His appointment follows an 18-month national search for the orchestra’s new concertmaster. He’ll make his debut on Saturday with a concert featuring Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6, Smetana’s “The Moldau” and “From the Blue Ridge,” a mandolin concerto by composer and soloist Jeff Midkiff.
Click the audio above to hear him discuss his eclectic musical interests and how a concertmaster must play multiple roles, often within a single piece.
“It’s like changing gears in your car because at one moment you are playing as part of the section and you have to actually have a sound that blends seamlessly into the whole,” Wetherbee told CPR Classical. “At other moments you’re part of the section but your sound must rise a lead a little bit more. And then at times you’re playing solos and your sound has to completely switch into a kind of solo gear.”
For more from Wetherbee, listen to some of his recordings, including his music with the Carpe Diem String Quartet.
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