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Johannes Moser, Master Teacher

Three young, local cellists had the privilege of performing for the Symphony's guest artist Johannes Moser last night in a master class at Marsh Woodwinds in Raleigh. Jonah Krolik, Chapel Hill; Emily Telford-Marx, Durham; and Drake Driscoll, Holly Springs, played for the professional cellist and received tips and instruction on improving their overall performance during a half-hour lesson for each student. All three are members of the NCS Youth Sinfonietta.

Photos from the event can be found on our Facebook page. See them here.

The charming German-Canadian cellist proved to be an ingenious educator, expounding on the typical music-lesson topics of breaking down a difficult passage into smaller parts or not watching your hands when playing with delightful and surprisingly wide-ranging metaphors. He related performing on the cello to earthquakes and soccer matches, to a concept as expansive as the interconnectedness of all earthly waterways and to one as microbial as the gap between the synapses in your brain.

A few of Moser's most sparkling gems from the evening:

The mistake is not to make a mistake but not to acknowledge what went wrong...Every time you play that note wrong, a rut--you get a rut in your brain that you just fall into, so that your brain will just get used to playing that note that way...The pathway that you use the most is also the broadest path.

Monkeys are fantastic. Do you like monkeys?...The amazing thing is that they have amazing control of their bodies. You won't see a gorilla saying, 'Man, I've got a tense shoulder.'...We need a little more monkey in your shoulders.

[The cello] is not so hard. We make it hard, because we put so much focus on it. I think walking is so much harder [to learn]...There is so much that can go wrong, with balance, with things in front of you...But when we learn [to walk], we're kind of free with it. The same can be true of the cello.

Receive your own lesson from Johannes Moser when he joins the North Carolina Symphony to perform Elgar's elegiac Cello Concerto as part of our "Firebird" concert, tonight in Southern Pines and tomorrow and Saturday in Raleigh.

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