Interview conducted by Sarah Jablon
Each year the River Concert Series at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, led by Jeffrey Silberschlag and the Chesapeake Orchestra, features some of our most talented student musicians. Among the student musicians participating in this year’s River Concert Series is Nathaniel Silberschlag, who performed as a horn soloist during the second concert in June.
Nathaniel is a 17-year-old music major who recently received a full scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School, which he will attend in the fall. He is from Leonardtown, Md., and has been participating in the River Concert Series for five years. This summer, he will also be attending the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute< at the Kennedy Center. We conducted a Q&A with Nathaniel to learn more about his experiences as a musician at St. Mary’s and with the popular River Concert Series. Q: How long have you been playing the horn? Do you play any other instruments?
A: I’ve spent 11 years on the horn. And yes! I also play piano, specializing in Jazz.
Q: Why did you choose to play the horn?
A: Coming from a family of 16 professional musicians, I think it was kind of chosen for me.
Q: Congratulations on winning the Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School! When will you begin studying there? What will you study?
A: Thank you! I will begin in late August 2015! I will be majoring in horn performance, and my horn teacher will be recently retired principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera, Julie Landsman.
Q: Similarly, you will be attending National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute at the Kennedy Center this summer. What do you hope to accomplish while there?
A: I’m very excited to meet and make contact with fellow musicians. I also look forward to growing as a musician under the tutelage of National Symphony Orchestra members. I will be studying with NSO horn player Sylvia Alimena (who is my current teacher).
Q: Do you think that St. Mary’s has helped to define you as a musician in any way?
A: St. Mary’s has undoubtedly had a great effect on me as a person and musician. The brilliant music faculty has nurtured an exceptional environment which parallels any of the greatest music conservatories and university programs in the nation.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment from your musical career at St. Mary’s?
A: I remember when I was 12 or 13, I played Princess Leia’s theme from Star Wars with the college orchestra.
Q: Why did you choose to participate in the River Concert Series?
A: The River Concert Series is an event that I look forward to all year around. The world-class music and musicians that make up the series excite and inspire me all year.
Q: How do you think the River Concert Series is beneficial for the St. Mary’s community?
A: The River Concert Series is a singular event in St Mary’s County which brings people together from all facets of the community. Its welcoming nature has introduced an entire community to classical music and it’s indispensable to the region.
Q: Who is your favorite musician, and why?
A: That’s a very tough question because I really love all types of music. I love the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and Louis Prima, just to name a few. It’s very hard to pick a favorite classical musician because everyone plays in such different styles.
Q: What is your dream profession?
A: I guess my dream job would be principal horn of the New York Philharmonic.
Q: Do you have any interests outside of music?
A: I love all sports. I played baseball for 10 years. I also love film.