Hidden from small

Nathaniel West - Behind the Scenes

October 31, 2017

Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.

Where were you born? I was born in Chicago, but grew up mostly in Columbus, OH.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Just about any piece by Bach.

What is your most treasured possession? Probably my instrument. I feel very lucky to have found it.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? There’s really far too many great restaurants to choose one, but right now Zahav may top the list for me.

Tell us about your instrument. I play on a British instrument made by William Gilkes in London in 1843.

What’s in your instrument case? Nothing special really: my bows, a couple of endpins, some rosin, and I believe a pocket dictionary of musical terms given to me by a former teacher.

When did you join the Orchestra? The audition was in January 2017 and I officially started in September.

Do you play any other instruments? No. I enjoy learning some small pieces on piano but it would really be a stretch to say I “play.”

What’s your favorite type of food? Probably Indian food, but a number of great Szechuan places here in Philly have caused me to reconsider.

What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? Always hard copy. Right now, a Steinbeck novel and one of the Game of Thrones books that I’m slowly making my way through.

Do you speak any other languages? Not to any real degree of proficiency.

Do you follow any blogs? Not really any blogs per se, but I do spent an inordinate amount of time keeping up with articles about the sports teams I follow.

Do you have any hobbies? Following and watching the NFL, NBA, MLB, college football and basketball—and just about any other sport that’s on to watch.

Do you have a favorite movie? I have a number of movies I love, but no single favorite. I’ve always been a big Wes Anderson fan.

Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? After performing Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony with The Philadelphia Orchestra last December as a substitute, I came away feeling that it’s a tragically underperformed piece of music.

What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? The last CD I obtained would have been an old Charlie Hayden jazz album given to me by a friend.

What’s on your iPod? Mostly sports podcasts.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? I believe it would have been the fall of 2009, shortly after I started school in Philadelphia. An incredible experience, without a doubt.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? I haven’t actually played in a number of the world’s most well-respected halls, but of those I have played in, Carnegie Hall still probably tops the list.

Photo by Elena Sippel