Brian drums up top WASO job

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Tanya MacNaughton

BRIAN Maloney had no idea a de­ci­sion at age 10 while grow­ing up in Bos­ton would have such an in­flu­ence on his life, tak­ing him to the other side of the world as prin­ci­pal per­cus­sion of WASO.

“In my el­e­men­tary school, we had to take band in fourth grade and I had the choice be­tween trum­pet and drums,” Maloney said.

“I had asthma and thought it might be bet­ter to be a drum­mer; in ret­ro­spect, play­ing trum­pet prob­a­bly would have helped my asthma.”

The 26-year-old stud­ied at Bos­ton Univer­sity and New Eng­land Con­ser­va­tory be­fore a whim ap­pli­ca­tion on­line to WASO last year re­sulted in more than Maloney ever ex­pected.

“All orches­tra mu­si­cians know how com­pet­i­tive it is and the chal­lenges to get a spot; it’s a very cov­eted thing in the mu­sic world,” Maloney said.

“Be­fore I came to WASO I came close to win­ning other au­di­tions, at least 20, each where I was com­pet­ing against 60 or 70 other peo­ple.

“It’s one of those things where you get so close that you can al­most taste it.

“I think one of the great­est things play­ing in an orches­tra as good as WASO is that all the mu­si­cians have been through that more or less; they all know what the de­feat is like and also the joy of win­ning.”

Maloney moved to Perth in Fe­bru­ary, where he im­me­di­ately fell in love with the city and Cottes­loe Beach.

He said his WASO ap­point­ment as prin­ci­pal per­cus­sion was hum­bling.

“Up un­til this point I have been around fan­tas­tic mu­si­cians my own age but I think I’m the youngest at WASO,” Maloney said.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause I’ve been given this lead­er­ship po­si­tion where I have to make a lot of de­ci­sions and work with peo­ple who are so much more ex­pe­ri­enced than I am.

“And I guess flat­ter­ing that they’re will­ing to trust me on a lot of is­sues.” Maloney will be joined by fel­low young mu­si­cians, vi­o­lin­ists Kate Sul­li­van and Christina Kat­sim­bardis, for WASO’s per­for­mance of The Plan­ets and The Rite of Spring at Perth Concert Hall on Au­gust 5 and 6.

“Both pieces are iconic, es­pe­cially for per­cus­sion,” he said.

“Stravin­sky wrote for dif­fer­ent tech­niques on a num­ber of in­stru­ments that no com­poser be­fore him had re­ally suc­cess­fully writ­ten for.

“And Holst is the same in that we have this whole pal­ette of per­cus­sion that a com­poser can choose from.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing both of these pieces in their en­tirety be­cause I’ve never played ei­ther of them in a concert set­ting; it’s ex­cit­ing to add these awe­some pieces to my reper­toire.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d457392

Christina Kat­sim­bardis (left) and Kate Sul­li­van with Brian Maloney.

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