ANNE JANSON – SECOND FLUTE
Anne was born and raised in Shelburne. While she was studying at the Manhattan School of Music, she learned about an opportunity to play Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture with the VSO and jumped at the chance to go home. “That’s how I got my foot in the door, back in 1983, and I was scared out of my wits. I think it was the only piece I played in the concert. Ephraim Guigui was the conductor and Susan Thomas was principal flute (who studied with James Galway)!” Later, when Anne auditioned and won the second flute position, she appreciated that Guigui acknowledged the skill needed by that position to blend in the entire woodwind section.
Then came Kate Tamarkin, who “had a wonderful presence, especially with the Vermont community. It was great playing with a woman leader,” Anne continued. “After Kate was Jaime, and I loved him. He gave my daughter a few violin lessons, and always went above and beyond with my family and the orchestra. He was gracious and kind, always.”
Thinking of the most satisfying pieces to play as a flutist, Anne doesn’t hesitate. “I love Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Puccini. But Dvorak’s New World Symphony is at the top of my list. I am so lucky to do what I do.”
The VSO has been a huge part of Anne’s life. It’s her second family. The only time she recalls taking a leave of absence was on June 1 when her son was born, realizing there was no way to do a Summer Festival Tour with a newborn. “My day-to-day friends aren’t aware of the ongoing practice and preparation needed to play in an orchestra. But during those brief concert weekends when I get together with fellow musicians, they understand. They are my second family.”
DAVID GUSAKOV – VIOLIN
1973 was David’s first season as violinist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s founder, Alan Carter. “At that time, there were no auditions for the VSO. Alan just asked me to play, and I said sure! It was a bit ragtag then – I remember he’d sometimes put brand new music on our stands 45 minutes before the downbeat.”
After Alan came Efrain Guigui as VSO’s next Music Director, and “it became a much more professional orchestra. One of my most prominent memories with Guigui was after about two years, when we rehearsed a Beethoven symphony. I suddenly realized that every section of the orchestra was in synch! We became one, and the music shone. That had never happened before.” David also recalled when Guigui brought the VSO on a bus tour to Harvard, and Aaron Copland was the guest conductor.
Perhaps David’s favorite VSO performance came when Kate Tamarkin was Music Director and they performed Verdi’s Requiem at the Flynn (the Faure Requiem is also up there as one of David’s beloved compositions). “She had a beautiful, clear baton conducting technique, and a very special way of conducting that piece.”
Finally, there was Jaime Laredo. “I can’t believe I played with him for 20 years. He brought in wonderful soloists, boosted our confidence and we sounded better as an orchestra under Jaime than with anyone else. He had enough faith in the VSO to record an album of music written for him and his wife Sharon as soloists. That was truly special.”
David’s five decades with the VSO was also marked by playing with a huge range of soloists, from Tony Bennett and Captain Kangaroo to Peter, Paul and Mary and the Moody Blues. As our longest-serving member, we say hats off and congratulations for his countless concerts, educational programs, and service to the VSO.