News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Meaden & Moore

The Holden Arboretum

Akron Children's Hospital


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


Cleveland Orchestra trombonist lets the dream of his late student play on
Massimo La Rosa's new CD also features the trombone he developed for Conn-Selmer
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
Massimo La Rosa's second CD follows his critically acclaimed debut solo recording "Cantando" released in 2010.
Courtesy of Gary Adams
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The featured soloist in Saturday’s Cleveland Orchestra concert will play an instrument normally in the background, the trombone. 

In the final concert of the orchestra’s Lakewood residency, principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa will use an instrument he helped design to perform a work featured on his new CD. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman caught up with the busy musician during the orchestra’s recent European tour.

LISTEN

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:19)


La Rosa’s trombone was at his side when we spoke in Cologne, half-way through the orchestra's multi-city tour. He’d stopped on the way to an early morning rehearsal after performing late into the night before, but his large brown eyes were as clear as his trombone’s trademark tone. 

La Rosa’s well accustomed to the rigors of travel. He’s much in demand internationally as a soloist and teacher. He keeps busy, too, in Cleveland, often playing for charity. 

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation receives proceeds from his latest CD, titled Sempre Espressivo.      

Bach is like a grandfather
It begins with Bach. La Rosa reveres him. 

“The music is so magic and so right in a way that I can really feel something. It goes deeply inside to me.”     

Bach’s six suites for unaccompanied cello have been transcribed for many instruments, from mandolin to marimba to ukulele. 

On trombone, mastering the long-flowing passages didn’t give La Rosa much chance to breathe. 

He’s had many challenges since age 9, when he joined his father and grandfather in their Italian village’s community band. Thirty years later he’s reached the pinnacle of his profession.

But Bach still humbles him.

“When you’re a player, certain level, I perform in one of the best orchestras in the world. I perform many recitals. And you convince yourself that you know something. But the experience that I had with Bach, I felt like a little kid compared to his grandfather that knows everything.”    

Dreams remembered
Also on the new CD is a piece whose title translates as “dreams,” Wagner’s “Traume.” It was originally written for voice and piano, but La Rosa wrote a trombone arrangement. 

“Actually that piece I never played before the recording. A week before this project was starting, my former student and also good friend; he passed away in a car accident in Cleveland.”   

Anthony P. Hopkins died last summer. He was 26.  

“When a life is cut short in that way, when you are so young and you have so many dreams, and you are eager to achieve your dreams. ... This guy was working very hard every day because he was dreaming to be a great trombone player. And I wanted those dreams, they keep having life. And then I choose this piece.     

“Beside the fact that it’s a great piece of music it is a great homage to a great person that Anthony was.”  

And a source of inspiration, he hopes, for Anthony’s fellow students at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where La Rosa heads the trombone faculty.  

“I will be playing this piece and every time it will be for Anthony. And I hope all the friends they can do, even if they do like five minutes more practicing for Anthony, it will benefit them and it will keep Anthony close to them.”  

His family name on a new instrument
La Rosa has another recording project planned, but wants to keep it under wraps for now, saying only that it will add to the solo trombone repertoire. 

He’s busy, too, promoting the new La Rosa trombone he helped a Cleveland-based division of Conn-Selmer develop. He plays it now with the Cleveland Orchestra as well as on the new CD. 

But his first instrument was one he also treasured. 

“My father was a crane operator. My father bought that instrument, three times his salary. Then I promised myself to respect that instrument and to practice because they’re making big sacrifice for you. And the best moment was when I showed to my father the instrument with his name.  That’s why I like to say this was the bonus. I could give to my father, to his father, something back for the sacrifice.” 

Ferdinand David’s concertino, is on La Rosa’s new CD. 

It’s also on Saturday’s night’s bill, with La Rosa as soloist, at Lakewood High School Civic Auditorium, in the final free concert of the Cleveland Orchestra’s 2nd annual neighborhood residency. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

Ohio is moving forward with new standardized tests
Mr Chow, Nice piece on testing. Should not Ohio go to an open bid process for the new assessment contract? Ohio has stayed with a "connected" DC non-profit fo...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University