Alasdair Neale

websiteAlasdair

Alasdair Neale

Music Director

Q&A

Q: Please tell us your name, your instrument, and where you work when not in Sun Valley.
A:
My parents were going to call me Paul Alasdair but didn’t like the resulting acronym “PAN”, so Alasdair it was. When I’m not waving my arms in Sun Valley I do the same sort of thing with the Marin Symphony and anywhere else in the world I’m lucky enough to be asked Q: I have been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since and my hometown is ...
A:
1995, if you can believe it. My hometown is San Francisco, so having to divide my time between there and Sun Valley–the two most beautiful places in the country– strikes me as indecently good fortune Q: My favorite activity in Sun Valley is...
and my family's favorite activity is...
A:
My partner Lowell and I have turned into Baldy hiking fiends these last two years. We got super-intense last summer and ended up going straight up with no switchbacks, which made me fell very virtuous. But people keep feeding me delicious cakes at parties, so I have to burn off the calories somehow Q: On the way to Sun Valley I listened to...
A:
A whole bunch of stuff, none of it orchestral. Renaissance Masses and Motets by guys like Palestrina and Josquin des Prez; Granados “Goyescas” for piano; Brahms String Quintets; and some Paul Simon and Sting for 80s nostalgia
Q: If I were not a professional musician,
I would be...
A:
Utterly miserable. But if I could hoodwink some publisher into paying me gobs of money to travel to exotic parts of the world and write about it, then that might ease the pain….a bit Q: If I could invite five people to hear me play a concert with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony I would include...
A:
I’ll limit my list to people who, for various reasons, can’t actually be there currently in person. My parents from Edinburgh, of course. My teacher, Otto-Werner Mueller, still going strong at 88 (though I’d be totally uptight about the whole thing; he has very high standards!). My Grandad, a keen amateur violinist who died when I was 16; I think he’d get a kick out of seeing me conduct. Oh, and Mozart. I have no idea whether he’d get a kick out of seeing me conduct, but if he were in the audience I’d certainly have to raise my game a notch or two Q: Which actor would play me in the movie about the Sun Valley Summer Symphony?
A:
That would have to be Ralph Fiennes, since lots of people tell him that I look like him. But he’d have to work on the accent Q: My favorite work featuring my instrument is...
A:
No fair! That’s the whole orchestra we’re talking about! OK, let’s limit it to the actual orchestral instruments I used to play, flute and cello. For the flute I’d have to go with the soaring solo in the last movement of Mahler’s 10th Symphony (no perky bird impersonations there); and for the cello the slow movement of Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto. Heaven on a stick