Q & A with Nick Tisherman
What’s your favorite piece on the program & why?
- Nick Tisherman (NT): It’s gotta be Saint-Saëns. When do we ever get to start the evening with the most attention-grabbing, soul-piercing, butt-kicking oboe solo ever? Even the most refined and esteemed music scholars often use words like “orgiastic” to describe this piece, so you know it’ll be a good time. After the lights dim and the oboe captivates you, the ensuing dance depicts Bacchic shenanigans designed in Saint-Saëns’ opera to make the biblical character Samson blush. I love wine, and a good glass (or two) of an easy-drinking red blend pairs well with this first piece.
How would you describe this program to someone who’s never heard it before?
- NT: This program combines a real warhorse in the Shostakovich with some other unsung gems, all of which transport us to far-flung places and times. The first half is all heat and energy, with music that is exotic and intoxicating. On the other side of the intermission’s fulcrum, you’ll get a blast of cold Siberian air in Shostakovich’s symphony, intricate and intense in its own unique way. Knowing that Shostakovich was always one wrong note away from the gulag while he was writing is such a humbling bit of context while enjoying his breathtaking Fifth Symphony.
What is a unique/surprising element of this performance that audiences should look forward to?
- NT: The debut of Nemanja Radulović is hotly anticipated for a reason. This guy can do everything, but his Serbian heritage and his love of all folk music which he demonstrates in his 2022 album, “Roots,” make me especially excited to play Khatchaturian with him.
What advice would you give to someone attending a Colorado Symphony concert for the first time?
- NT: First of all, welcome! Have a seat. Look around, take some pictures, and as the lights dim, enjoy one of the only times in our modern world where we all turn our devices off (after googling ‘Khatchaturian’) and focus our collective consciousness on the stage. Close your eyes and let the music dazzle you, calm you, shock you, and delight you. Space out and wonder if Khatchaturian’s close friends used to call him “Khatch.” Realize you’ve been daydreaming and wake up when the soloist walks out with his violin and takes a bow. Notice the individual musicians onstage communicating with each other, with the conductor, and with you. Enjoy the show. Proceed to go home and look up everything Shostakovich on Spotify. Repeat as necessary.
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
Join us October 13-15, 2023 for a weekend of stunning performances featuring conductor Jaime Martín and superstar violinist Nemanja Radulović.