Because of Covid-19, some projects you had planned were cancelled, such as a masterclass at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne and another solo performance in Kalevi Aho’s Sieidi Percussion Concerto with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yaniv Dinur. Now that we are regaining some normality, do you have any more projects on the horizon?
I am playing in Holland for a piece by JacobTV in November. It’s written for trumpet, guitar, voice, and percussion, and it’s about an hour long. It also has the video component, as most of his stuff does. It’s definitely going to be a show. I said yes because it sounded like a cool project, and I also don’t know when I would have another chance to do something like this during the season. That will change come January when we return to full, blockbuster programs again. Everything right now is on the lighter side.
Musically or personally, has the pandemic caused you to have any major reflections and has that affected your work in any way with the CSO?
Between March and the fall of 2020, for the first time in my life, I was playing what I wanted to play and not what I had to play. That was crazy! There were a few things I wanted to learn, and it felt great to do it just because I wanted to. I realised some things about myself that I didn’t know before. I’m usually travelling so much, but I stayed in town, and now I like being at home. I also found out I was a morning person. I get up around 5 am, and I’m in bed by 9 pm now. Ask me again in six months when things are picking back up again; it might change. I would like to think I’m a more patient person now. Some of my students have elevated stress levels from the pandemic, and I’m able to acknowledge that and talk about it. I’ve always been pretty good about letting go of what I can’t control and hanging onto what I can, and this whole situation has really reaffirmed that.
[External link: Cynthia Yeh’s Profile Artist at the CSO Website]