By Patrick Jordan, viola
After two years of excellent and devoted engagement with Tafelmusik, we bid a very sad farewell to our colleague, violist Stefano Marcocchi. The demands of his family in Italy are such that he has made the very difficult decision to return to Europe.
His beginning with the orchestra was auspicious. In Tafelmusik’s audition process we rarely hire someone outright — we most often propose a trial period of some sort, to make sure that the fit will work. Stefano, presenting himself as a very mature artist at our auditions, was hired immediately.
Our trust in his capacities, passion, and seriousness were well founded. As dubious luck would have it, he joined the orchestra at a moment when we had three different memorized programs in one season, all of which he learned (I think the absence of Isabella, his girlfriend and subsequent wife during that period may have nefariously worked to the orchestra’s advantage …). His broad knowledge, experience, and insatiable curiosity about the business of historically informed performance practice have been a rejuvenation for the entire orchestra.
We are of course a small band, and the violas, for most of the orchestra’s history, have been a section of two. It might not seem obvious from the outside, but two people playing one part requires an incredibly sensitive pair of players, willing to give and take on a minute and dynamic level. We were lucky to attract a fine musician with those skills, but on top of that, I personally have gotten a new friend, which has been a dream come true.
Dreams too often skitter away, tantalizingly out of our reach. My late father, upon hearing the laments of someone who had been recently jilted, asked that person “Why can’t you just be glad that you had the fun years together that you did?” Those have been encouraging words in the last few months. Indeed, none of us will be here forever, and the good we can do is a fine measure of our efforts. Stefano leaves the orchestra, and his section-mate, considerably better in many ways than when he arrived. Arrivederci caro amico!
Leave a comment below or send your thoughts and wishes to Stefano here or at info [@] tafelmusik [.] org