High Notes asked Rylan Gajek how it felt, to be playing with the SPO
I was very excited. Before the concerts, I was definitely a bit nervous, but once I was on stage with the full symphony behind me and with such a wonderful, exciting piece to play, I couldn’t help being absorbed by the possibilities of the moment.
It’s difficult to compare the feeling of playing with an orchestra to anything else. The sounds and emotions you discover while performing are so fresh each time that it’s unique unto itself. Everyone on stage is contributing to this wonderful story that unfolds differently with each performance. It’s like what I imagine viewing the earth from space would be. The closer to our planet you get, the more details and interconnectedness you see, and the farther away you get, the more you view the scene as a whole picture, including stars and other galaxies. When I’m in my practice room I am focusing on minute details of the piece and sometimes forget to back up a few thousand miles to look at the whole picture. With an orchestra there, the scene is set and an adventure unfolds. You can watch from the stars as the characters progress, or even become one yourself and see what happens. The possibilities are endless.
It was a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to perform the Saint-Saens Concerto. It’s a fabulous piece that is both technically challenging and simple in nature, full of exhilarating passages and uplifting solitude.
Opening your eyes after what could have been an action-packed dream, and taking a bow to hundreds of clapping hands is a pretty great feeling. The applause was fantastic!
If I possibly can, I will pursue a career in either cello performance or music composition, or maybe both!
Here are a few links to some of my compositions. Most of them are pretty old (I think I wrote them about a year ago), but, I haven’t had a chance to get my more recent stuff recorded yet. I’ve been working on a solo cello sonata and just finished a Nocturne and Fantasia for the piano.
Check out Rylan’s compositions at: