NEW YORK — One of Europe’s most prestigious orchestras has returned to Carnegie Hall for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Sunday evening marks the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. One of the youngest musicians on stage, hailing from New York City, gave CBS2’s Lisa Rozner some insight.
Lucas Stratmann’s passion for the violin began when he was only 3 years old.
“I feel the violin is part of me,” Stratmann said. “I think the biggest thing that is the instrument is allowing me to share this beautiful art that is out there.”
Stratmann, 25, grew up in Murray Hill, and while attending LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts, he enrolled in pre-college classes at the Julliard School.
“So Monday through Friday I would be a LaGuardia, then Saturday I would be at Julliard,” he said.
After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Julliard, the Dean recommended that Stratmann apply to the Academy of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, where young musicians are trained through private lessons, chamber music and work with the orchestra.
Academy members travel all over the world with the ensemble. Stratmann was the only New Yorker accepted into the small program of a dozen musicians and moved to Austria last September.
“The lessons, they’ve been so inspiring,” Stratmann said. “The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the best orchestras in the world and it was a privilege for me to be able to play with my colleagues.
“I want to combine what I learned here in the United States and at Julliard and hear a new perspective on things, it’s like the perfect combination for me,” Stratmann said.
Stratmann still plays a certain violin, created in 1926 by Italian master luthier Alberto Fernando Moglie, also curator at the Smithsonian.
“I’ve been playing this instrument for about 12 years,” Stratman said.
For some of the other members of the academy, this is their first time performing at Carnegie Hall.
“When we arrived at the airport, I really couldn’t believe my eyes were really there,” said Academy member and flautist Theresia Prinz. “Great life goal for every musician, I think.”
“They are part of the orchestra when they are with us,” said Karin Bonelli, academy teacher and flautist.
This is Bonelli’s fourth time playing at Carnegie Hall.
“Carnegie Hall is always a special place acoustically, but also for the audience. It’s very open and enthusiastic,” Bonelli said.
“The first concert, we’re playing an all-Rachmaninoff program. So we’re playing the second piano concerto as well as the second symphony, and they’re both such great works and I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be like at Carnegie Hall,” Stratmann said.
Stratmann won a coveted seat at the Vienna State Opera – an opportunity he said was only possible thanks to the Academy of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The orchestra will tour other cities in the United States