Play, run, play, repeat: Houston Symphony bassoonist and marathoner Elise Wagner

Posted on: December 11, 2019

“Elise Wagner rarely listen to music while she runs,” writes Julie Garcia in Monday’s (12/10) Houston Chronicle. “More often than not, she plays a loop in her head. ‘Being a musician, usually what happens is that whatever I’m playing that week is an ear worm; it gets stuck in my head,’ said Wagner, a bassoonist for the Houston Symphony.… Lately, it has been the music of Richard Strauss … which the Houston Symphony featured in a Thanksgiving weekend performance…. Being an instrumentalist is the same as training for any sport, she said. ‘So much of it is mental, and you can say the same with running,’ said Wagner, 38…. She is training for the Houston Marathon, her second 26.2-mile race…. At the University of Houston, Wagner teaches her music students to train like athletes…. Wagner benefits most from speed and interval training as a wind player because both are exercises in lung expansion…. Wagner and Strauss are double-booked on Jan. 19. It’s marathon day. And they also have a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, which … contains major bassoon parts. ‘It’s going to feel like a second marathon,’ she said.”

Posted December 11, 2019

In photo: Elise Wagner, a member of the Houston Symphony bassoon section since September 2008, in her running shoes at Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. Photo by Marie D. De Jesús, Houston Chronicle