Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Taking the NOLA classical music scene by storm, director Joel Bein answers our questions about his newly-formed ensemble and the big plans ahead of them (with our help).
The New Orleans Chamber Players! How did the NOCP come about?
NOCP is a brand new group! Our debut concert was in May 2018 featuring Igor Stravinsky’s Octet for Wind Instruments. I have met many of the players in the group since my move to New Orleans in 2016. After attending a concert of the Louisiana Philharmonic, I introduced myself to clarinetist Chris Pell. From there, I began meeting many of the wonderful classical musicians in New Orleans.
What is the NOCP's mission?
Our mission is to inspire people, to invite a connection to their feelings, and to cultivate gratitude for chamber music and our lives. I believe the beauty of music is tightly intertwined to the beauty of humanity. NOCP’s vehicle for this mission is chamber music with and without conductor, utilizing 12 or players or less, and emphasizing wind instruments.
What drew you to studying (and ultimately leading) chamber groups?
Intimacy. Not only in performance, but in rehearsal. I love the atmosphere in the room when leading a rehearsal with only 8 or 9 people. I am also drawn to the sonority of the wind octet in particular.
Has anyone made a positive impact on your career, firsthand?
My conducting teachers Michael Haithcock and Brian K. Doyle have impacted me beyond measurement.
Where & How does your ensemble fit into the New Orleans music scene?
Our niche is to unveil the rich chamber winds repertoire, particularly wind octets. NOCP also adds a platform for New Orleans classical musicians to perform individualistically, as soloists and in small groups.
Can you list any repertoire that the ensemble has played or a style of music that your ensemble thoroughly enjoys?
Our debut concert featured all wind instruments and included two Stravinsky pieces, Fanfare for a New Theatre and Octet for Wind Instruments. Future concerts will continue to emphasize winds, masterworks by composers such as Mozart and Strauss, but also music written in the past 100 years. We also aim to commission new music for chamber winds.
Any concerts lined up in the near future? What can future audiences expect?
If we succeed in our Kickstarter fundraising campaign, we are planning concerts January 25 and May 22 at the Marigny Opera House. The January performance will feature a 1991 wind octet by British composer Jonathan Dove, Figures in the Garden. In May, we’ll welcome in string instruments and highlight music by Gliere, Ligeti, and Martinu. I am eagerly anticipating these performances.
How will your Kickstarter campaign directly impact the NOCP?
The large majority of funding goes directly to compensating our fine New Orleans classical musicians. Thank you so much for any support you can provide!
For more information on the newly founded New Orleans Chamber Players and how you can support them, please visit their Kickstarter Page!
Many thanks for reading. See you over on our next post!