THE MUSIC MAKERS - TED SOLURI
THE MUSIC MAKERS
Get to know your DSO Music Makers! Each month, we will feature a new musician, and October is all about Principal Bassoon Ted Soluri. Read on for a Q&A with Ted, and be sure to follow us on social media for more info about him this month!
IRENE H. WADEL & ROBERT I. ATHA, JR. CHAIR
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
Education: Florida State University & Cleveland Institute of Music
Years with the DSO: Three
Previous position: Principal Bassoon, Milwaukee Symphony & Santa Fe Opera
How and when did you start playing the bassoon?
I started playing the clarinet in seventh grade. I was really excited for eighth grade because I was going to be first chair in the band. But I showed up on day one, and my band director handed me a giant case, a strange-looking reed and an etude book. He said “This is a bassoon, and you are our new bassoon player. You have two weeks to learn the basics before you start playing in band.” I was crushed, but I slowly grew to love it, and here we are!
If you weren’t a bassoonist, what other career path might you have chosen?
I would be an actor and/or a singer. Growing up, all I wanted to do was sing on Broadway.
Reeds can often make or break a double reed player’s performance. Describe your reed making process.
Reeds are a necessary evil. Store bought double reeds just aren’t a high enough quality for a professional setting, so we are destined to hours a week working on reeds. The reed-making process is long. I make the initial reed from a piece of cane that has had the inside gouged out until it is relatively thin and most of the bark has been profiled off the outside. From there I shape it, fold it over, form it with reed wire at the bottom and let it sit overnight. Then I will finish the next day by putting nail polish around the bottom half of the reed to seal it. From there I like them to sit for at least six months before I need to use them. Then it’s several days of scraping and waiting before it’s ready for the stage.
What has been your favorite concert with the DSO so far?
I have to say Die Walkure with Maestro van Zweden last season. I’ve always wanted to do a Wagner opera, and it was a real thrill.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to be outside when it’s not boiling hot: gardening, camping, hiking, all that stuff. I also really enjoy cooking.
Do you have any pets at home?
I have two cats. One is Max, who is about to turn four. And one is Pinkerton, who is about to turn 17. Max LOVES Pinkerton, but Pinkerton doesn’t love Max.
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