By: Rebecca Kirkpatrick
February 15, 2018
Each concert week we will highlight a musician with a few fun facts our patrons may not have otherwise known. This week our Musician in the Spotlight is Drew Irvin. Drew delights with his violin skills as the Dora Paley Ronnel Concertmaster Chair for the ASO. Here's a little more about Drew you may not know:
When is your birthday?
May 31, 1971
What is your hometown?
Columbia, Missouri, 6 hours north of Little Rock.
What instrument(s) can you play?
Violin and piano.
Who is your favorite composer and why?
Whomever I’m playing currently. Mozart, Mahler, Strauss come to mind.
What sparked your initial interest in music?
Singing with my family. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. McKinney.
What other hidden talents do you have?
My chocolate chip recipe!
In what store could you max out your credit card?
If you could have a super-power, what would it be?
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
A white Christmas in the mountains with my family. Mahler 8!!!!!!! To play Strauss’ “Beim Schladengehen” with Renee Fleming, or any other world class soprano!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who eat too loudly, I might have misophonia.
Do you have any pets?
Three dogs; Sam, a chocolate lab, and two girls: Keiko and Suki, who are litter mates and are Jack Russell/Pit Bull mix.
Did you have any nicknames growing up?
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
How long have you played with the ASO?
Since September 2002
What book are you currently reading?
Too many to list. By the time you read this, it will be another book.
Who inspires you?
Caroline Brown, our principal flute. She is so consistent, musical, and plays beautifully!
What is your best childhood memory?
Visiting family in El Paso, Texas.
Which four individuals, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
Two dinners: One with Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Goethe, and Ghandi. For laughs, Mozart, Colbert, Carol Burnett, and Dave Chapelle.
Are you working on any projects outside of the ASO?
Lots of Violin teaching, and some recitals and tours with my group ArMusica.
Next weekend, February 24-25, you'll perform in the ASO's fifth Masterworks concert, "The Planets." Tell us a little big about the challenges you face when performing this concert. What do you most looking forward to? Is there anything in particular we should be listening for?
This "Planets" Masterworks is the most challenging concert of the season for me, and perhaps for much of the orchestra. I'm really looking forward to the Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra. Sandy McDonald and I have lots of duets and solos and they are a workout-- all fun and beautiful-- but they keep me humble. The Planets is a real crowd- pleaser and gives every section of the orchestra some amazing moments. I love "Jupiter" most of all. The middle hymn is heartbreaking and it never resolves, rather it dissolves into the opening theme of "Jupiter."
That concludes this week's "Musician in the Spotlight"-- to see Drew rise to the challenges of "The Planets," join us next weekend. You can purchase your tickets by visiting https://www.arkansassymphony.org/planets.