Cleveland Orchestra musicians, putting time to musical use during pandemic

Posted on: May 26, 2020

Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Principal Trombone Shachar Israel recorded a video of himself playing all parts in two songs from his childhood.

“World-class musicians don’t spend free time the way most people do. They put it to good, artistic use,” writes Zachary Lewis in Sunday’s (5/24) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). During the pandemic, “The musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra … are channeling their talents into all sorts of creative projects in efforts to teach, edify, and stay in touch with fans…. Cellist William Brian Thornton … views the educational and performance videos he’s been contributing to the Cleveland Orchestra’s YouTube Channel as gifts, his way of helping the orchestra … maintain connections with patrons…. Violinist Isabel Trautwein used the [Acapella app] to stitch together a four-part account of ‘Ashokan Farewell,’ and assistant principal trombone Shachar Israel recorded two songs from his childhood in the same manner…. Education is another priority…. Musicians are generating new digital content for parents and teachers and finding ways to continue conducting private lessons and coaching members of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra…. Even those who aren’t appearing on camera in public are … stoking their artistic fires by practicing every day, connecting with students and fellow professionals … Israel said, ‘I think the importance of why we do what we do comes to the fore.’ ”