Tao Ge, Trumpet

The Andres Guevara Chair

February Musician of the Month Interview:CSO-Portraits-April 2015-33

For how long have you been playing the trumpet?

I started at age ten, so this would make 29 years.

What made you choose to play the trumpet?

My father is an amateur trumpet player, and I was inspired by him.

What is your favorite part about performing in front of a live audience?

With all of the lights focused on the musician, it creates a very intense atmosphere, with the hopes of being able to transcend that music to your audience. It is different than recording, where you have more of a connection with your audience in where you can make them understand what you are playing.

If you could play any other instrument, what would you play?

I’d like to play piano. It is a very unique instrument with a wide range of possibilities. It is part of the fundamentals of musicianship.

When you aren’t playing music, what are some of your other hobbies?

I like to play tennis, golf and other outdoor activities, especially with my family. In my down time I like to watch movies with my kids.

 What is the most bizarre performing experience you have had?

When I played at a music festival, in the concerto competition final round, all of the lights went completely off. My pianist and I continued to play in the dark for the remaining minutes.

What is your favorite music genre to listen to?

My favorite is the Classical genre. I love listening to Mozart and Beethoven. They had such extraordinary talent in the way they could play and create music. I also enjoy some popular music as well, such as Bruno Mars, and I like to listen to Jazz.

What is on your latest playlist?

I have been listening to some Bruno Mars recently, and Miles Davis.

What musician or group of musicians inspires you the most?

Phil Smith from New York Philharmonic, he’s a wonderful musician and a wonderful person. Wynton Marsalis, I listened to him a lot growing up and still continue to.

Are you excited for the upcoming performance of CSO at the Oscars, and why?

Yes, I’m really excited because it’s really the first time all of this music has come together, not only in the movie theatre, but as the side of the music without the screen. This should be a fantastic concert and the audience should love this music as it is such a wide range of music.

Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party, and why?

My host family, who live in Maryland really have become relatives to me. I would also invite Debra Tommey who is one of my great colleagues.

What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

I feel accomplished to have played at the CSO for almost ten years now. Also working at CSU, with so many wonderful events and international conferences that have been held that I have helped put together.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I didn’t really think of that too much as a child, but I believe I wanted to be a part of higher education in order to pass along my knowledge to others.

If you could attend any live performance (musical or otherwise) what would it be and why?

I would love to go to one of the Metropolitan Opera performances. The sound of the opera performance just transcends. The singers are all very gifted and the orchestra players really understand how to play their instruments to match the singers.

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