Omar Shelly: The viola as a question mark

Viola player Omar Shelly stars in the February edition of our video series TŌN Close-Ups.

He talks about the mystery of his instrument, the perks of having a varied taste in music, and what it takes to be part of The Orchestra Now.

Cortese Conducts The Orchestra Now with Fire and Finesse

The Millbrook Independent

“A platoon of winds and brass entered for Claude Debussy’s La Mer (The Sea, 1905), the first major Impressionist landscape opus for orchestra in three movements. This fantastic mood piece is always charming to hear, especially the third movement, Dialogue of the wind and sea. Trumpeter Christopher Moran, whose favorite symphony is Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, confessed in his introduction that there was enough of the trumpet in La Mer to make it one of his top favorites. The first movement dramatizes a Baudelaire-like vision of Romantic departure, while the second movement depicts the play of waves in a nearly fundamentalist Naturalism. The third movement is such inexpressible magic that garrulous commentators have little or nearly nothing to say, except that it remains exquisite and it was just that with Cortese coaxing students to play above their level, which is quite accomplished indeed.” —Kevin T. McEneaney

Photo by Matt Dine