Home News Faculty Spotlight: Daniel Orsen

September 24, 2020

Faculty Spotlight: Daniel Orsen

How long have you worked at CMCB and what do you teach?

What do you enjoy most about teaching at CMCB?

The camaraderie with the faculty, and the challenge of working with beginners.

How has it been teaching during this period of social isolation?

Trying to coach chamber music was very tough. Otherwise, I’ve found teaching over zoom to be pretty efficient, maybe 85% of an in-person, although I don’t know what my students think about that.

I heard that you have recently released an album. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes! Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata with pianist Pierre-Nicolas Colombat. We met while working in the library as grad students at New England Conservatory. The recording session was back in January, and during the COVID months we made decisions about which takes to use, editing with the engineer (there are some high quality audio-shares out there that made this easy), and getting the recording out so people can listen to it. Doing all the work after recording took far more time than practicing and rehearsing for the recording! You can listen to the recording on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp (high quality audio download), or buy a signed CD on my website

The arpeggione was a six stringed instrument tuned like a guitar, but played with a bow and help between the knees like a cello. Schubert’s sonata is one of the only pieces written for the instrument, and it went “extinct” soon afterwards. Nowadays, violists and cellists most frequently play the sonata, but there are arrangements out there all sorts of instruments. Guitarists can play both the arpeggione and piano parts!

Are there any other projects that you are currently working on?

Survival. Right now I’m doing some work for the US Census, which has been a great experience and generally fun. I also run a chamber music series, Jamaica Plain Chamber Music.

Last Friday we had a real, indoors, in-person concert which was greatly appreciated by the musicians and the audience. We have another concert coming up in October, so getting ready for that looms large.