“Well, my parents say so, in the best Italian accent, and then I have to explain to them that it’s the ‘Mozart Piano’ and that its sound is very soft. It’s very, very, very soft; it just needs to be listened to very carefully.”
Which has always felt more like you playing, you or others on a piece of string?
“Yeah, I mean we’re like this little, tiny, tight little orchestra who have the same job as the orchestra! And sometimes we play and sometimes they play!
“If you make a mistake we go off and start another piece and it goes on all the way through, so maybe it’s better to be able to see it out if the mistake is something that a conductor will catch.”
It’s quite an artistic challenge – are you not afraid of a mistake?
“Yeah, the thing is, we are all in the orchestra and we’re all so comfortable. We’re all not necessarily big, big performers – we’re like little, tiny, little instruments, just making sounds that we love. And everyone’s so good, so I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.”
How has the show evolved over time?
“The show has morphed, but the core of it – the idea that every person in the country has the right to not be afraid – it’s so ingrained in the American psyche. The more we show people that we can be good, and make music, but that we can be strong and that we can be proud of ourselves – the more people are inspired.”
The show doesn’t stop to give you applause, does it?
“No. The song is usually over and you know you’ve done all you wanted to do, there’s a little bit of a hush around us. It’s like watching a sunset, a really deep shade of blue is the only thing that makes you think that you’ve been there.”
Has the show changed when you look back?
“In particular the things that are still there – how to put on a show with the most beautiful music around, and being able to make people feel good. People who do this stuff in public are always talking about it, and you think of the music they do and how it has transformed their life.”
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