Soloist Spotlight: Melissa Kritzer

TCS: Tell us a little something fun about yourself that isn't in your bio?
MK: I have two boys, Benjamin and Daniel, 4 and 5 years old. They make every day an adventure and certainly have taught me volumes about being my best self.

TCS: How did you come to choose your instrument?
MK: I chose it in 7th grade because I was one of 30 flute players in my half of the band. I wanted something a little more distinctive. I also really liked the sound.

TCS: Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
MK: I love the intentionality of choosing the projects I am passionate about. I love the synergy of collaborating with other people. It is truly magical.

TCS: When was your first TCS concert? What brought you to the group?
MK: My first TCS concert was in 2011. Some friends recommended me and I felt immediately at home.

TCS: What sets TCS apart from other orchestras?
MK: Definitely the amazing people involved

TCS: What do you carry with you in your instrument case?
MK: So many things…mute, balance hanger, pencils, cork grease, screw drivers (I have to put them in checked luggage before flying), cup holder for water, Tupperware container with water (emptied before flying), toothbrush and toothpaste, metronome and tuner, a random piece of paper that shades my low E in specific passages, a seat strap, a neck strap, 2 swabs, 2 bocals, dam-pits...

TCS: What is your ideal day of practice?
MK: A quiet morning with no interruptions. Then some reed making with a good recording.

TCS: What do you do to set yourself up for success on the day of an important performance?
MK: Early and careful preparation.

TCS: Why did you choose to perform this piece with TCS?
MK: I have done several concertos in my time with TCS, but never a contemporary premiere. I knew the composer and got into some really engaging conversations about what we like best in bassoon repertoire. I am so excited to show you what he created!

TCS: Did anything about this piece surprise you?
MK: It is very different than many concertos I’ve played. First of all, the space is a big part of the performance (and I think that St. Paul’s is the perfect space to collaborate with). This piece required me to connect with a more meditative part of my nature, one that can be easily lost in this crazy world.