New York Philharmonic musicians in IPR's Studio A

New York Philharmonic musicians pose with Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition winners: (L-R) Left to right: Ethan Bensdorf, trumpet, New York Philharmonic; Andrew Mazanko, IAA student, clarinet; Roger Nye, bassoon, New York Philharmonic; Chea Young "Joyce" Kang, soprano, IAA student; R. Allen Spanjer, New York Philharmonic, horn; Ailun Zheng, IAA student, piano; and Kuan Cheng Lu, New York Philharmonic, violin.

As a part of Interlochen Arts Academy’s ongoing partnership with the New York Philharmonic, four Philharmonic musicians, all Interlochen alumni, visited campus for a week of master classes, lessons and mock auditions. Two musicians, violinist Kuan Cheng Lu and bassoonist Roger Nye, visited IPR’s Studio A for exclusive performances and interviews.

Violinist Kuan Cheng Lu first heard the New York Philharmonic as an 18-year-old high school graduate in his native Taiwan. Lu was captivated not by classical masters on the program, but his own nation’s national anthem. Lu’s mother, noticing her son’s reaction, said, “I think you’re going to be in there some day.”

Just five years later, Lu’s mother’s prediction came true. Lu won a position in the Philharmonic’s violin section at 23 years of age, making him the first-ever Taiwanese musician to play with the Philharmonic. “The best part is meeting guest artists and playing with my colleagues,” he told IPR’s Kate Botello.

Lu’s Philharmonic colleague, bassoonist Roger Nye, first discovered his instrument as a child. “The bassoon really ‘chose’ me,” he said. Nye heard the bassoon on Bugs Bunny cartoons and fell in love with the instrument’s timbre and singing quality. Years later, Nye was able to study with the same man who played the music he so admired.

Nye stopped by Studio A to chat with Amanda Sewell about the collaboration between Interlochen Arts Academy and the New York Philharmonic, the art of reed-making and his favorite repertoire for bassoon.