A Letter from Maestro Muti

A Letter from Maestro Muti

On February 23, 2010, Maestro Riccardo Muti led the Metropolitan Opera in its premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila in his long-awaited MET debut. Composed in 1846 when Verdi was only 32 years old, this youthful work is rarely heard today. Maestro Muti led an all-star cast, starring Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role and Violeta Urmana as Odabella. The production was directed by Pierre Audi with sets designed by the architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and costumes by Miuccia Prada.

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Humans of the MET: Wen Qian and Ming-Fen Hsin

Humans of the MET:  Wen Qian and Ming-Fen Hsin

KA:  What do you enjoy most about playing together in the Met orchestra? 

W&M:  What we love the most are the times when we get to sit together, sharing a stand in the 1st violin section.   It challenges us and we get to play off of each other.  It's  also nice to be able to talk about work at home and know that we really understand where the other person is coming from....we share the same world. 

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From South Africa with Love

From South Africa with Love

In March, while the MET Orchestra was performing Wozzeck, Werther, The Enchanted Island, and Prince Igor, Principal Trumpet Billy Hunter and trombonist Weston Sprott took on an additional project: hosting two student musicians from South Africa for ten days through a program that Weston inspired called the 10x10 Scholarship.

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VIDEO: The Intimacy of a Duet: Anthony McGill and Susan Graham sing La Clemenza di Tito

VIDEO: The Intimacy of a Duet: Anthony McGill and Susan Graham sing La Clemenza di Tito

Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of the most famous clarinetists in the world. He has performed concertos with the MET Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and has recently been featured on a chamber album with the Pacifica Quartet. 

Watch as Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill describes the musical and emotional experience of performing a duet with the famed mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

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Auditioning for the MET Orchestra

Auditioning for the MET Orchestra

Every orchestra uses a slightly different system to make sure that they find the right person for the job, and to make that process as painless as possible for both auditioner and auditionee. The MET Orchestra is no exception. We take a great deal of pride in running the fairest, most effective auditions we can. I sat down with Rob Knopper, percussionist, and Boris Allakhverdyan, principal clarinetist, to discuss their experiences in this unique system of interviewing for a dream job.

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VIDEO: Andrea Chénier in perspective. And, a trio performance.

VIDEO: Andrea Chénier in perspective. And, a trio performance.

From the demonically difficult violin opening to a heart wrenching moment in Tom Hanks' Philadelphia, Andrea Chénier means something different to each MET Orchestra Musician. 

Violinist Katherine Fong and Trombonist Demian Austin discuss death row, opera fandom and their preparation for the Met Opera's opening night of Andrea Chénier, 2014.

Clarinetist Anthony McGill joins for a trio performance of the aria Come un bel di di maggio, arranged by percussionist Rob Knopper.

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Sleuthing through Andrea Chénier

Sleuthing through Andrea Chénier

During intermission and on Sundays, the MET Orchestra Musicians have taken to their pencils, computer keyboards, and iPhone cameras. The MET Orchestra Blog is a space for musicians to write and curate blog posts about their passion for opera and other related subjects. 

We begin with a story by Mary Hamman, a MET Orchestra violist since 1992, who did some detective work into an unusual comment written on her Chénier part.

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