Musician Profile: Amy Cave
The Akron Symphony Orchestra is comprised of talented musicians who have spent a lifetime honing their craft.
They are also your colleagues, neighbors and friends, and their passion for the community reflects their passion for their music.
Amy Cave joined the Akron Symphony in 2015 and is currently the Assistant Concertmaster. She recently sat down for a Q&A on life as a professional musician.
Q: How did you first become interested in music?
Amy: My mom always listens to classical music in the car and around the house so it was a part of everyday life when I was a kid. Then my older brother started playing saxophone when I was about 5 and I thought that was pretty cool, so I started asking for music lessons and finally got a violin and lessons for my seventh birthday.
Q: What is the best part about being a member of the Akron Symphony?
Amy: As a music educator I love that the Akron Symphony does so much to bring music to children with our Concerts for Kids series, as well as the Link Up concerts. It makes me really happy to think that our performances might be the first exposure that children get to a symphony orchestra, and I think we present the concerts in a way that makes it super accessible and fun.
In the same vein I thoroughly enjoy coaching the violin sections of the Akron Youth Symphony. I’s fun to share what I’ve learned about orchestral playing with advanced middle and high school violinists.
From a performance standpoint the best part for me is performing with the choir. They sound amazing!
Q: If you were not a professional musician you would be …
Amy: Working in medical research perhaps? I loved my biology and chemistry classes in high school and college, and I like to problem solve. Plus I’ve always had an inclination to help people.
Q: If you could only play one piece of music, what would it be and why?
Amy: Wow, that’s really tough. I suppose I’d like to choose a piece that has multiple movements that have my fast and happy music bases covered, along with the slow and melancholy. It also depends on if I have people to play with or not. If it’s a solo piece I’d choose the Bach G minor Sonata for solo violin, with a chamber ensemble I’d choose Beethoven op. 127 for string quartet, and for full orchestra I’d go with Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5. Is that cheating to choose three? (Editor’s note: You’re cool!)
Each of them gives me chills in their own way. They all have sublime slow movements and some very exciting fast bits as well.
Q: What is your favorite memory as a musician?
Amy: I worked on cruise ships for a few years as a member of a string quartet and one of our itineraries took us to Cobh, Ireland, a number of times where we got to know the musicians who played at the local pub.
They invited us to bring our instruments one week, so we went there along with another band from Chile that was working on board at the time. We each took turns playing, the session musicians doing Irish tunes, the band playing traditional Chilean music, and us playing classical stuff. The other musicians started teaching some traditional dances to go with the music to whoever wanted to learn.
The whole day sort of evolved into all of us playing some weird mash-up of all the three styles, and other musicians from town and passengers on board filtered in and joined us with their instruments and singing. Eventually the pub was totally filled with people dancing, playing music and having a great time. It was so cool to see that all of these people from totally different backgrounds feeling the same amazing energy and being brought together through music.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
Amy: Listen more! I’ve learned so much and gotten incredibly inspired by listening to and watching artists I admire. Whenever I’m feeling like I’m in a musical rut, I can always pull myself out by latching on to a really cool piece or recording and immersing myself.
Q: Favorite movie?
Amy: Home Alone
Q: Favorite food?
Amy: Fresh, homemade bread with good sauce to dip it in
Q: If you could only hear one musician or band play live (any genre), who would it be?
Amy: Silk Road Ensemble. They’ve got so much variety!