I have always thought it amazing that of all the creative arts, sculpting, painting, performing, writing music etc, it was almost a kind of magic that an individual could write a piece of music, creating it totally from their imaginations, and then three hundred years later (Classical Music) we still get to enjoy that same composition. Consequently, with all that goes into the original composition, that the work of art is performed by well over one hundred musicians is to me astounding. That each one of the classical musicians on stage have devoted a lifetime to perfecting their craft of playing their individual instrument is more amazing still. Do you think that all these individuals who are clearly driven and strive to achieve perfection are motivated by monitory gain? I do not.
With that historical background just described it would seem almost impossible to create a photo worthy of the same artists I'm attempting to celebrate. I do have one huge advantage though, I do not have to learn to play the violin, become proficient in the tuba, or spend a lifetime mastering the cello. Instead, I just have to find others that did, and take a photo of them.
The idea, which might or might not be apparent, was to have a tight, well-composed scene on stage just after a concert. (You can see it is after the concert because of the roses on stage) There are only a couple musicians still lingering about while the instruments are packed away and the musicians and members of the audience depart for the evening. I used a bit of artistic license in so far as I "flipped" the Musicians so we are looking into the performers and still looking out to the audience and concert hall it self.
The violinist in the shot is Searmi Park. Searmi is a violinist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, among other orchestras in the southland, and is a sought after studio musician. She mentioned that she had been playing since she was five years old. (If a student started after about the age of five or six, it is too late). At one point in her training, while a student at UCLA she had possession and performed with a donated Stradivarius Violin valued at over $2,000,000. When she graduated college and had to give back her borrowed violin, it was hard. Searmi explained that you could absolutely hear the difference from a Stradivarius and a regular great violin. The trumpeter is Barry Perkins, (playing since he was six years old), lead trumpeter in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, in addition to several other organizations and is often working as a studio musician for the movie industry, and even has his own Trumpet Academy for young people. These two musicians were the epitome of "busy”. I was very fortunate that they offered to help make this photo and carved time out of busy schedules to accommodate my access to the theatre. The couple in the audience are my parents, who for some unknown reason have not gotten around to leaving after the concert has finished...
This production (I use that word purposefully) took over a year to create; I did talk to literally dozens of theatre houses, from the new Walt Disney Concert Hall locally, to the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, and everybody in between. It's surprisingly difficult to borrow a venue of this magnitude. Fortunately, the owner of the Orpheum Theatre (a truly magnificent restored 1927 theatre in Los Angeles) offered to let me use his theatre for a day at no charge. Interestingly, the owner of this particular theatre has obviously gone to great expense and trouble to restore and refurbish this grand location. Maybe, like the motivations of the musicians in the scene, I do not think it is strictly a business decision that drives a man to excel by bringing back to life this beautiful historical theatre, and to share it with society. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the generosity of strangers and in this case specifically the owner of the Orpheum Theatre who has been so extremely gracious to me and in so doing allowed all of us to enjoy this new photo. The instruments were borrowed from the Hand Prop Room, and Studio Instrument Rentals of Los Angeles, both of whom are not usually in the business of loaning out equipment.