Nelly Rocha

Soloist Spotlight: Nelly Rocha

Nelly Rocha has performed in Europe, Asia, Mexico and the United States in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Nelly participated in the Porgy and Bess National US tour and the Verbier Festival Orchestra European tour. She has performed with the Distinguished Concerts International New York Orchestra, Miami Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, National Lyric Opera, and Rhode Island Philharmonic. A passionate advocate of music by women, Nelly has performed recitals featuring female composers at the International Congress of Women in Music, the Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres en el Arte and the Universal Forum of Cultures.

The Chelsea Symphony: What makes playing with TCS different from other playing experiences you have had?

Nelly Rocha: Usually in other orchestras, featured soloists are not members of the orchestra, but at TCS all of the soloists are part of the TCS family. I love playing in the orchestra when my friends are soloing. It feels good to support other soloists and to have that support in return.

TCS: What keeps you coming back to TCS?

NR: Aside from the unique opportunity to be a soloist with TCS, the orchestra provides so many other opportunities, like the Earth Day concert at The American Museum of Natural History, performances at Rikers Island, and being able to be a part of Mozart In The Jungle. All of these experiences were so meaningful to me!

TCS: What made you choose this particular solo work to play with TCS?

NR: The first ever piece for solo cello I saw live was Tchaikovsky’s Variations of a Rococo Theme performed by my childhood cello teacher. At the time it seemed so hard and unattainable but I fell in love with the piece. When I learned the piece with another teacher, their passion and love for the music made the experience very special. It was hard not to fall in love with this piece.

TCS: What feelings come up for you when you are playing this piece?

NR: Something I love about this piece is that it has seven variations. Each one seems to bring a different emotion. Some movements are fun, joyous, and mischievous, while others are sorrowful and longing. It’s so beautiful to have all of those different emotions in one piece.

TCS: Is there anything else you would like to share about your upcoming solo feature?

I’m excited because my entire family is coming to support me from all over! My mother is coming all the way from Mexico. It will be great having them in the audience for my performance.