Each week, the OUMS newsletter features an interview with someone who positively contributes to the Oxford music scene. This week, we sat down with French horn player Tommaso Rusconi to ask him about his role as Chamber Music Coordinator for OUMS!
Tommaso Rusconi (he/him)
OUMS Chamber Music Coordinator
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Tommaso, a second-year music student at Jesus. I moved to Oxford for university after growing up in Milan. I’m primarily a horn player in OUO and OUSinf – both of which I have the pleasure of working with as Secretary – but I also do some piano and conducting. From last term, I’ve also been working as OUMS’ Chamber Music Coordinator and am very glad to be manager of the newly branded Oxford University Chamber Music (OUCM), an OUMS-run body working on promoting the student chamber music scene in Oxford!
What are you working on at the moment?
As OUCM manager, together with a lovely committee (Zosia, Matt, and Aidan), I’ve been working on making sure chamber music comes back to life this term! We’ve been putting together a range of options for you to get involved. Firstly, we’ve prepared an ‘OUCM Matching’ form whereby you sign up as an individual and then we match you with other players interested in similar repertoire, ensemble type, and commitment. Secondly, we’ve been working on organizing a ‘Chamber Music Speed Dating’ event that will take place on Wednesday of 3rd week (25th of October) so that you can find other players to form an ensemble in person. Lastly, we’re giving the opportunity to pre-existing ensembles to register with OUCM so that they can also be involved with our activities and general support (promotion, performance opportunities, masterclasses, etc). Furthermore, alongside our ‘matching’ form, we’ve introduced a new ‘FHS Chamber Music Scheme’ aimed at music finalists looking for players for their performance exams.
What has your favourite musical experience been at Oxford so far?
It must be playing principal horn in Mahler 1 with OUO in Hilary 2023. It was such an immense honour to be leading a massive section of 9 horns in my very first Mahler symphony! It was great to work with OUO’s principal guest conductor, Natalia Luis-Bassa, and I look forward to playing in OUO again this term with conductor Toby Purser – watch out for a very exciting concert that you can’t miss!
What is your favourite thing about being a musician?
My dedication to chamber music and orchestral playing reflects what I think is the most special part of being a musician (as cliché as it sounds): working with other people who share my same passion for music to create something new and exciting. I’m always blown away by hearing how immensely talented my colleagues are and I feel so lucky to be playing with you!
Can you give us a music recommendation?
Being both Italian and very passionate about opera, I cannot not recommend something from Italy’s rich operatic heritage! There is so much music to choose from but (and definitely not to show that opera can be very fun to play as an orchestral musician!) I have selected two of my favourite orchestral intermezzi. If you’re into some gorgeous melodies and ravishing orchestral textures, check out the Act 2 Intermezzo from Umberto Giordano’s Fedora, and the Intermezzo that opens Act 3 of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Enjoy!
To find out more about OUCM and sign up for events, please check out the chamber music web page here.
To find out more about the OUMS newsletter and our interviews, email Christopher at email@example.com.