Orchestral Excerpt Insights: John Sharp

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is known around the world, and although the music conveys power and beauty to listeners, the piece poses many challenges for its performers.

In this Orchestra Excerpt Insights video, CSO Principal Cello John Sharp explores three passages from the second movement, which is often requested on professional auditions and demonstrates command of rhythm, intonation, tone and character.

As he provides strategies for preparing the music, Sharp reminds us of a goal that transcends the practice room. “Listen to great performances and great performers. Learn about the arts in general — literature, art, dance. They all have aspects that we can draw upon and help us understand what we’re trying to express. Ultimately the music says something important — to people, to culture — that goes deeper than just playing your instrument.”