Soloist Spotlight: Brian Thompson

TCS: Tell us a little something fun about yourself that isn't in your bio?

BT: I'm known as "Compost Guy" in my neighborhood after piloting a compost program through my community garden when the city shut down all food scrap collection when Covid first hit.

TCS: How did you come to choose your instrument?

BT: In High School, adding viola to violin which I started at age 7.

TCS: Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

BT: Feeling something missing in my life, a more creative and collaborative calling.

TCS: What has been your proudest moment or moments in music so far?

BT: It's tie between standing on stage and performing for friends, family and peers and watching my students perform the music they've worked on all semester.

TCS: What have been the biggest challenges of your career so far?

BT: Working through performance anxiety to fearlessly share the music I love with others.

TCS: When was your first TCS concert? What brought you to the group?

BT: Danse Macabre among other pieces, circa October 2009. Referral by a friend but I don't remember now!

TCS: Do you have any favorite TCS memories?

BT: I tend to make new ones every concert series but among the most memorable would be our performances at Rikers.

TCS: What keeps you coming back to play with TCS?

BT: The people and the great programming.

TCS: What sets TCS apart from other orchestras?

BT: Top notch professional atmosphere yet chill and fun.

TCS: Who are your favorite musicians, past and/or present?

BT: All y’all!

TCS: What do you carry with you in your instrument case?

BT: Nail clippers.

TCS: What is your ideal day of practice?

BT: A little in the morning and some more in the afternoon.

TCS: What do you do to set yourself up for success on the day of an important performance?

BT: Good sleep, carbs, exercise, meditation and self love.

TCS: Why did you choose to perform this piece with TCS?

BT: I wanted to commission a viola solo piece by one of my favorite composers, Kamala Sankaram.

TCS: What are some things you learned while preparing?

BT: To take my time getting to know the piece. Keep coming back to it and see what else there is to say.

TCS: Did anything about the piece surprise you?

BT: An astonishingly beautiful depiction of grief.

TCS: Do you have a favorite recording of this piece?

BT: It's the premiere!