cello/head honchoStephen Cho
What do you do when you're not making beautiful music with Camerata Notturna?
I'm a corporate lawyer at a firm in New York.
Tell us a little about your relationship with your instrument.
I own it.
How about the cello itself?
"Lumpy" got his name from the fact that when I got him, he had extensive water damage to its bottom half; surfaces that were supposed to be flat instead mimicked the rolling hills of Italy's Tuscany region, where he was made.
What is your proudest musical moment?
I remember being very proud,at the age of eight, to have gotten into my elementary school orchestra (after several failed attempts). The fact that I only got in because of a breakout of chickenpox which decimated the cello section did nothing to dampen my unbridled joy and enthusiasm at finally being allowed to play with others.
Funny or embarrassing musical experience?
I feel like there are too many to mention, but here are a few:
1) When I was a kid, I tried to sled down my snow-covered driveway using my cello case, a la James Bond in The Living Daylights. It didn't work.
(Come to think of it, neither has laying cheesy, pun-filled pickup lines on glamorous women at bars, casinos, or secret underwater lairs).
2) I have gotten lost, several times, in the cello part of Pachelbel's Canon, which consists of just eight notes, repeated over and over.
3) I once played cello in a parade, sharing a float with WWF superstar Randy "Macho Man" Savage. I played the Gigue from Bach's Suite no. 6; everyone else played something different.
What this orchestra means to me:
I get to be the boss of something.
Favorite Notturna moment:
They're all my favorite! If I had to pick, though, the ones that I will cherish especially are those that I spent working with Colin Carr and Gil Kalish, two of my musical heroes. I also really, really enjoy our post-concert festivities, probably a little too much!
Random interesting fact about you.
This is my favorite viola joke:
A boy begins taking viola lessons after school each day. The first day, he comes home and says, "Mommy, Mommy - today I learned how to play the C string!" The second day he comes home and says, "Mommy, Mommy - today I learned how to play the G string!" The third day he comes home and says, "Mommy, Mommy - today I learned how to play the D string!" The fourth day he comes home and says, "Mommy, Mommy - today I learned how to play the A string!" The fifth day, he didn't come home. Hours passed, dinnertime came and went, it got dark. His mother was totally panicked and hysterical. Finally at midnight the boy walks in the door. "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN???" cried his mother. "I've been worried to death!!!" The boy replied, "Oh, I had a gig."