By Jacqueline Cordova-Arrington, flute
I believe that chamber music is the most intimate forum for performing musical works. Prior to moving to Eugene, I performed as the resident flutist of Carnegie Hall’s chamber music collective Ensemble Connect. As a member of the ensemble, I had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the world’s best musicians in performances throughout New York City. The ensemble has no artistic director. For the first time in my career, I felt a sort of musical emancipation from the orchestra model with conductor. I absolutely love playing in orchestras, but suddenly I felt that I wasn’t just a participant in a concert but a real co-creator of an artistic experience. My voice really mattered. While this statement is beautiful, that doesn’t mean that the experience of co-creating was always artful or fun. Imagine getting 18 musicians, in our largest configuration, to agree on musical ideas. In the process, there were disagreements and disappointments, but in the end, our group always managed to come up with a composite performance that represented a little bit of everyone’s perspective. Our combined ideas were almost always better and more inspiring than any individual’s single idea. In the ensemble, I learned how to better communicate with colleagues but also gained access to the musical insights and perspectives of musicians I greatly admire.
Chamber music can also be a gateway for musicians to connect with audiences more personally. As a high school student, I fondly remember attending and performing in chamber music recitals at the Kimmel Center in my hometown of Philadelphia. I remember sitting just a few feet away from Emmanuel Ax in the audience and as a performer I fondly remember chatting with audience members on stage directly after concerts. Chamber music performances have the power to create an intimate sense of community amongst musicians and concert goers. After our performance, please come up and say hello! I’d love to know what you thought about the performance.
Interview Question: What are your non-musical hobbies?
I love to cook! I have always enjoyed pairing different flavors and textures to create something indulgent for the palette. Experiencing a good meal can definitely be enjoyed alone, but my fondest memories include those meals ending with long talks around the table with close family and friends. For me, cooking a great meal is the ultimate experience of abundance of food and community.