Los Angeles Philharmonic violist gives it all in performance

Posted on: December 13, 2010

In Sunday’s (12/12) Los Angeles Times, Donna Perlmutter writes, “Say ‘symphony orchestra’ to people on the street and they’ll think of a mass-musician unit, an aggregate of many—all playing as one, no instrumentalist standing out from the others in a given section, except in a solo passage. Yet for two years—up on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage—you couldn’t miss Carrie Dennis, even while surrounded by 100-plus other Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians. … She dives down on a given accent, thrusts into the heart of it with startling vigor, her head impelled to her knees, her elbow raised high as she strikes her bow across the strings. … One might wonder how that goes over with [her colleagues]. Are they enlivened? Or is the viola section-leader—sitting at the edge, right side of the podium—a distraction that breaks their sense of unanimity? … None of this speaks to the point, says [principal bass Dennis] Trembly. ‘Only that she has the chops. Nothing else counts, really.’ Her high credentials, he adds—as a prized graduate of Curtis Institute, first chair with the Philadelphia Orchestra, then with the Berlin Philharmonic (arguably the supreme ensemble worldwide)—are also just lapel pins.”

Posted December 13, 2010