MEET THIS LOCAL: John Wilson is a fourth-year Fellow at New World Symphony. He’ll play two solo piano showpieces on April 20 for NWS’s presentation of Michael Tilson Thomas’s (aka MTT) orchestral concert, Carnegie Hall Preview: MTT’s Playthings of the Wind. The show represents decades worth of musical ideas from MTT, who is co-founder, artistic director and conductor of the symphony, in this part-concert, part-real-time documentary.
WHAT HE’S DOING: Wilson has two solos during the concert, which is a sneak peek of the symphony’s upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall in May. The Miami-based musician grew up in Scranton, Pa. and estimates that he spends six to 10 hours a day rehearsing or performing on the piano.
He explained that his hands are never tired after a performance and compared how he sometimes feels after playing to that of a good workout.
“Every once in a while, I’ll feel like if you hike five miles or if you do something that’s good but also exhausting,” Wilson said. “You sort of have that good feeling.”
FUN FACT: Wilson is the only musician in his family. He began his musical journey after he heard a Mozart sonata and played it back on a small electric keyboard his parents gave to him on his 12th birthday.
QUOTABLE: “I have to say, when you’re working with him, it’s the most unique feeling of any conductors I’ve ever performed with,” Wilson said about performing with MTT. “There’s [an ongoing] dialogue between [MTT], the orchestra and you, as a [musician]. It’s like this amazing musical conversation that you plan in rehearsal but [paired with]this creative process that’s happening at all times.” John also performed the world premiere of MTT’s Sunset Soliloquy last year, bringing MTT’s vision to life.
SEE HIM ON STAGE: You can see Wilson perform April 20th in Carnegie Hall Preview: MTT’s Playthings of the Wind. He’ll be joined by the New World Symphony Fellows, soprano Measha Brueggergosman and vocalists Kristen Toedtman and Kara Dugan on stage at the New World Center.
Tickets for the one-time afternoon show start at $75 and are on sale now.