Anthony Anurca has a passion for the Jacksonville Symphony. He believes in every age group enjoying the Orchestra, in excitement for upcoming performances, and in bassoon awareness, which is his own personal mission. I hope that by the end of this article, you would be excited to check out the quality classical music that is going on in our beautiful city.
Anthony is a bassoonist for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and he exudes volumes of pride for our city’s orchestra. He is what Somewhere in the City is made of: residents who take pride in their corner of Jacksonville whether it be visual arts, architectural design, culinary arts, or the symphony. Anthony studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of music and has performed with the cellist Yo-yo Ma, recorded withRickolus and Radical Face, and performed with the New World Symphony. Despite all of the traveling that he does, he explains that his favorite part is bringing everything he has learned back to Jacksonville.
I asked Anthony why he thinks that there is a disconnect with the younger generation and classical music. (Photo taken from Jacksonville Symphony page)
“There really are many young people interested in the symphony! There are conservatories all over the world filled with young people who are fascinated by the classical symphonies and who dedicate all of their time to improve their abilities for the orchestra. You are right though, there are many young people who don’t think twice about the symphony,” said Anurca. “I think that honestly, we do not educate our children to appreciate it, so they never develop a passion for it. I personally think that symphonies are more entertaining than pop music.”
I asked him why he believed that. His answer made so much sense.
“Pop songs tend to have one theme, one emotion, throughout the whole song. Symphonies have a whole array of emotion from joy to sadness to hope. I love the complexity,” said Anurca.
At this point, I was starting to have that feeling that comes along every now and then. That feeling of knowing about something for so long, but being so ignorant to the complexities of it. The Symphony Orchestra has been in Jacksonville since 1949. That’s a really long time. Many of us have this idea of the symphony being slow moving, drawn out, and to put it bluntly, boring. This is the exact stigma in the public’s consciousness that Anthony is working against, and you can see how much passion he has for it. Nothing that brings about that much joy for someone can be boring, at least not if you look at it through the right perspective.
“It is a very human thing to do, to play in an orchestra. Everything is so fragile. The instruments are fragile. They can be easily broken and knocked out of tune. Yet when all of them are played together, they create something so beautiful. It is very much like us. It’s beautiful,” said Anurca.
Anthony emphasized that one of the challenges for orchestral musicians is the repetition of performances.
“You really have to dig down deep and play the song as if it is the first time, every time. Every night the song will feel different because of the specific emotions each musician is putting into it. Whatever they are going through in that point in time is conveyed through the music. Listening to a symphony recorded is great, but going to see it live is a completely unique experience,” said Anurca.
I’m not sure if he’s having the same affect on you through this piece, but Anthony makes me question why I have only seen the symphony play when they’re paired with the Nutcracker. He makes me want to give that “boring” classical music another listen from a new set of ears. He makes me want to look up the bassoon on Wikipedia!
If you are a student, you can get something that’s called a sound check card. With this card you have access to the whole year’s performances for $25. We have no excuse not to culture ourselves with the wonder that is the symphony. Get dressed up, get together with friends, and rediscover the Jacksonville Symphony.