DPO gives the ultimate team player the ball
She is hardly a rookie.
She received her first musical instruction in public school, studied privately with Youngstown State University Professor of Music Michael Gelfand, and became a Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma student of Lee Fiser at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
She served as Principal Cellist of the CCM Philharmonia, performed as soloist with the Starling Chamber Orchestra, appeared in a live interview and performance for a WGUC broadcast, and attended the Chautauqua Music Festival studying there and performing in master classes.
She has performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, served as interim Principal Cellist with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and frequently served as an extra musician with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, performing with the orchestra on its 2008 European and China tours.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has praised her for her “beautifully felt” playing. A passionate chamber musician, she has performed with the Amicus Chamber Players and is a member of Concert:Nova, a Cincinnati-based chamber music ensemble dedicated to presenting chamber music in fresh, exciting, and unexpected ways.
She is also a founding member of the Duveneck String Quartet and has performed with them throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.
She is hardly an ingénue. But, for all her experience and ability, she remains just out of the range of the spotlight.
She is Christina Coletta, Assistant Principal Cellist of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. And on Sunday, January 22 at 3 pm in the Dayton Masonic Center, when the DPO presents the second concert in its Graeter’s Symphony Sundaes Series, Christina will do something she’s never done before.
She will headline.
“This is the first time I’ve headlined a DPO concert,” Christina states, “although I was the guest cellist with the DPO Principals Quartet for the Schubert Cello Quintet at the Schuster Center a couple seasons ago. I’m incredibly excited to be performing as a soloist this season! This piece, the Brahms Double concerto for cello and violin, is one of the greatest pieces of music in the concerto repertoire. Beyond the unusual use of not one, but two soloists, it has a fabulous orchestral accompaniment, rich and textured. It’s very much a three-part partnership between violin, cello and orchestra.”
Kirstin Greenlaw, DPO Principal Second Violinist, performs the violin solo. The program also includes Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony.
“There’s nothing “secondary” about the accompaniment (on the Brahms Double concerto), and I love that,” she remarks. “It’s also a fascinating piece of music in that Brahms composed it as a musical olive branch to an estranged, yet dear, friend, the great violinist Joseph Joachim. There are many moments in the piece where the cello most certainly represents Brahms, and the violin is Joachim. Their friendship suffered as a result of Joachim’s divorce, during which Brahms sided with the Joachim’s wife. That’s such an important piece of information to the listener, because – while this piece is not “programmatic” – it is the result of a situation that is still relevant today.”
“The one thing I wish I could express to modern listeners, and especially to people who think that classical music is irrelevant, is that this music was born from the same circumstances that drive modern music. Someone fell in love, their heart got broken, and in the aftermath a symphony was written. It’s no different than when Taylor Swift writes a song today. I wish more people understood that. I think there’d be more connection between the listener and the music if they did. And consequently more desire to explore what classical music has to offer a twenty-first-century listener.”
This is not the first time Christina has performed with fellow orchestra member Kirstin Greenlaw.
“Kirstin and I have been playing chamber music together for over ten years,” Christina notes. “I first played with her when we performed the Brahms Clarinet Quintet with Principal Clarinetist John Kurakowa for a DPO lunchtime concert at the Victoria Theater. We have since played regularly together as members of the Duveneck String Quartet and most recently as the Trillium Quartet with DPO violist Belinda Reuning Burge and violinist Sujean Kim. So, obviously we totally enjoy working together and respect one another immensely as musicians, colleagues, and dear friends. Kirstin is a fabulous violinist and performer, and I’m so excited to be playing this wonderful piece, written by Brahms with friendship in mind, with her.”
I asked Christina for her impressions of what DPO musicians are like and her general observations on the life of a musician who plays for more than one musical organization.
“Well, I think that’s a two-part question,” she replied. “First, DPO musicians are some of the most talented and committed musicians I have ever worked with. I have had the privilege of playing with several “bigger” orchestras in my career, and I honestly wouldn’t trade my current colleagues for anything. There is a sense of camaraderie and genuine high regard for one another that is not found everywhere in the classical music world.”
“Now, onto the second part of my answer. DPO musicians are also some of the hardest working musicians I know. Most of us have to play in several ensembles, teach, or have second jobs in other fields, as DPO is still a per-service ensemble and doesn’t yet provide benefits. So, I would say that DPO musicians are extremely busy and motivated people, juggling families, work, and their artistic passions.”
And on Sunday, January 22, Christina Coletta will take her artistic passion with her where it deserves to be seen and heard.
In the spotlight.
Greenlaw and Coletta at Center Stage
One Call Now presents Graeter’s Symphony Sundaes Series
Sunday, January 22 ~ 2012
Dayton Masonic Center, 3 pm
BRAHMS Double Concerto
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4
NEAL GITTLEMAN conductor
KIRSTIN GREENLAW principal violinist
CHRISTINA COLETTA assistant principal cellist