The principle cellist for the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Theo Weber, is gearing up for a slew of shows at the upcoming Wintertide Music Festival in Corner Brook.
The classical music festival will run from Jan. 11–14, with performances primarily taking place at both the Rotary Arts Centre and Arts and Culture Centre.
Weber, who is originally from the United States where he earned a Master’s degree in Music, moved to Newfoundland in 1993 when he was initially offered the job with the NSO. Needless to say, Weber hasn’t turned back, only looked around for other opportunities.
Nowadays, Weber sees his time split between performing as a career musician and putting in spare hours at a machine shop in Placentia Bay. It’s an odd combination of professional careers, but Weber says it’s a combination that had been coming for quite some time.
Weber says his interest in machines initially took off in the late ‘90’s, when he earned his pilot’s licence and became interested in the idea of eventually owning his own plane. At the time, Weber thought going about the process of building his own plane would be cheaper than simply buying a pre-existing one, and so the process of trying to build one, and hence his introduction into crafting machines began.
Weber eventually finished that plane, taking it on its first flight in 2014, and quickly looked elsewhere to further his developing craft as a machinist. This led to a recent decision of his to take a full season off from his duties at the NSO in order to complete the first year of a trade at the College of the North Atlantic. Now, back to working full-time with the NSO, Weber is content to work when he can at the machine shop in Placentia, where he is able to apprentice for one of his former teachers at CONA.
Although he doesn’t think he’ll ever have the time to complete the required hours for his red seal, Weber says he’s happy to be in an environment where his interest in working there is able to both keep him there and serve as the reward for being there.
The same could be said for the few days Weber will spend in Corner Brook this coming January for the Wintertide Music Festival. Weber, along with the Atlantic String Quartet (a string quartet comprised of members of the NSO) have a slew of performances on schedule. The group will perform music by Brahms, Mozart, Shubert, and Bliss, and invite guests such as cellist and organizer of Wintertide, Heather Tuach, and violinist Colin Scobie onstage for pieces that will force them out of their quartet setting, and into larger chamber ensembles.
Weber says such a strenuous schedule will likely put a temporary halt on the hours he’ll put in in Placentia but the opportunities Wintertide offer will make it more than worth it. Performing with fellow cellist Heather Tuach, for example, is something Weber says he is looking forward to.
“The first time we (the Atlantic String Quartet) played Wintertide Heather couldn’t actually be there because she was having a baby,” says Weber. Now, two years later, Weber and Tuach will team up to lead the ASQ through Shubert’s String Quintet in C Major.
The Wintertide music festival is set for Jan. 11-14, with performances at the Rotary Arts Centre and Arts and Culture Centre.