LA Phil cellist speaks frankly about his career

Posted on: August 5, 2014

In Sunday’s (8/3) Los Angeles Times, David Ng writes that Robert deMaine, recently appointed principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “has had a lot to celebrate in recent months. The 44-year-old musician joined the orchestra in early 2013 and was granted tenure shortly thereafter. It’s the biggest job of a career that has also included first chair at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra…. In an interview at the family’s dining table, deMaine … spoke frankly about his past battles with alcohol…. ‘I’m an alcoholic—a recovering alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in 15 years.’ … DeMaine has an upbeat demeanor that he brings to his work.… He described his job as principal cellist as being an ‘immediate connection to the music director’ for his section.… The position—which was previously held by Peter Stumpf, who stepped down in 2012—also entails administrative responsibility, including artistic issues, like bowings, and personnel matters.” He is currently also a member of Ehnes Quartet and the recently formed Dicterow-deMaine-Biegel Trio with violinist Glenn Dicterow and pianist Jeffrey Biegel. Regarding his former drinking, DeMaine says, “I felt like I wasted a decade of my life,” but that in the end, “People are forgiving. If you do pull your life together, I think they reward that.”

Posted August 5, 2014