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Paul Arnold - Behind the Scenes

December 03, 2013

Paul Arnold Violin 

Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.

Where were you born? New York City.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? The string quartets of Beethoven..but it would kill me because they are so demanding!

What’s your most treasured possession? Besides my family and my violin, I treasure the set of 1916 baseball cards that belonged to my grandfather.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? I just LOVE Distrito in University City. 

Tell us about your instrument. My wooden soulmate is a Joseph Rocca made in 1846 … amazing sound, amazing history, and a beautiful thing to look at.

What’s in your instrument case? Way too much music … and a cherished pair of violin mutes handmade by orchestra violinist Yayoi Numazawa’s father.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I would ask Schubert what gives with those big slashes! Are they accents or diminuendos?

What piece of music never fails to move you? I always get shaky legs hearing a good performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto.

When did you join the Orchestra? In Saratoga in 1983.

Do you play any other instruments? I used to play the viola … or, shall I say, fake on the viola?

What’s your favorite type of food? You give me an ethnicity, and I will love their cooking!

What books are on your nightstand? Photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Do you follow any blogs? Photography blogs.

Do you have any hobbies? Photography is my most intense non- music passion.


One of Paul’s photographs

Do you have a favorite movie? I love A Touch of Evil, To Kill a Mockingbird, and any Preston Sturgis comedy.

Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Both Szymanowski violin concertos.

What’s the last recording you purchased? A rare Henryk Szeryng recording of the Beethoven Concerto.

What’s on your iPod? Jazz!

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? It was 1970 in Saratoga … Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting Carmina burana.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and the Tonhalle in Zurich.

Read other "Musicians Behind the Scenes" Playbill features.