New faces at the ISO: Peter Vickery on how he started violin 

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The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra opens their 2015-16 season with handful of new personalities.

“It’s been several years since we’ve seen this many new faces at the start of a season. It’s very exciting to welcome them to the family, says ISO Music Director Krzysztof Urbanski.“Just like our entire orchestra, our new musicians and new associate conductor come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. It will be such a joy for me to lead all of these talented individuals. I hope our patrons notice the continued quality of our outstanding Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and are proud of what we present each and every week.”

NUVO took the opportunity to learn about the new ISO faces. In the mix you’ll find sports enthusiasts, a professional photographer, a trained engineer; some with acting, opera and national musical tour credits. 



Peter Vickery, Violin, Assistant Concertmaster, The Meditch Chair

NUVO: You started violin at age six – what has kept you connected, focused?

Peter Vickery:
Early in my musical training, much if not all of my perseverance came from my parents. My mother helped me practice regularly and committed herself to helping me improve. Later on, about middle school I believe, I decided to take more personal ownership of the violin. Mentally, I enjoy the challenge of tackling difficulties on the violin and breaking down the steps of how to overcome technical obstacles. Also, I love the creative aspect- making the musical notes on the paper real to others and sharing through the language of music the great range of emotions we all feel.

NUVO: As part of the Milwaukee music scene for the past five years one of your outreach activities has been with the Shorewood (Wisc.) High School players; what do you now envision for an ISO outreach?

Rothstein: I performed on Shorewood High School Orchestra's Benefit Concert this past spring. I enjoyed seeing the director, Karen Frink, work with the students and inspire them to create music together. And I also enjoyed showing them a professional level of performance and not just showing them, but joining with them in the performance. At the ISO, any opportunity for young high school musicians to hear, interact with, and musically collaborate with professionals is worthy to be pursued. One such program I took part of in high school was the Side-By-Side program.

NUVO: As a young player you won a competition and then broke your wrist—what’s the rest of the story and how does it connect you with here and now at the ISO?


Rothstein: When I was a sophomore in high school I broke my wrist playing basketball. Obviously, I had a take a break from playing violin while I healed. During that break, I learned a number of things. First, my basketball career was over. Second, I didn't realize how much I loved playing the violin until it was taken from me. I remember that I had to drop out of the ISO's Side-By-Side program that year, and watched that year's concert from the hall. When I returned to playing the violin, I enjoyed it more than before the break. Finally, I learned that I would be ok even if violin was taken away. I guess it's paradoxical- I learned how much I loved the violin and also that I would survive without it. My wrist healed completely, thank God, and I got back to playing right away. About a month afterwards I won first prize in the Michael Ben & Illene Komisarow Maurer Young Musicians Contest.

NUVO: What’s the thrill of “racing down slides”?

Rothstein: The thrill of "racing down slides" is all about the enjoyment of family. My wife and I have five young children, so there is never a dull moment at our house. Raising kids is hard work, but worth every second of it. "Racing down slides" helps me join in my kids' joy of life and reminds me to take time to enjoy the blessings God has given me.

NUVO: As a young player you won a competition and then broke your wrist—what’s the rest of the story and how does it connect you with here and now at the ISO?


Rothstein: When I was a sophomore in high school I broke my wrist playing basketball. Obviously, I had a take a break from playing violin while I healed. During that break, I learned a number of things. First, my basketball career was over. Second, I didn't realize how much I loved playing the violin until it was taken from me. I remember that I had to drop out of the ISO's Side-By-Side program that year, and watched that year's concert from the hall. When I returned to playing the violin, I enjoyed it more than before the break. Finally, I learned that I would be ok even if violin was taken away. I guess it's paradoxical- I learned how much I loved the violin and also that I would survive without it. My wrist healed completely, thank God, and I got back to playing right away. About a month afterwards I won first prize in the Michael Ben & Illene Komisarow Maurer Young Musicians Contest.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

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Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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