Instruments: Piano, Celeste, Harpsichord, Synthesizer
With the RPO since: 1975 - I’ve also been the Orchestra Personnel Manager since 1992.
My earliest musical memory is attending my first opera at the old Metropolitan Opera House when I was seven or eight years old.
I knew I would make music my career when I was told after a successful audition for the Eastman School of Music that I could study with Eugene List (one of my idols) if I were to enroll at the school.
Most influential teachers: Eugene List, Brooks Smith (Jasha Heifitz's accompanist for many years), Leon Fleisher and Rosina Lhevinne.
Favorite composer and/or musical period: Mahler; Italian opera, art song, French and Russian repertoire of all kinds.
What do you most enjoy about performing? The interaction between players, conductor and the audience. When all three elements work together, the result is exhilarating and electric.
What is your favorite part of being a member of the RPO? I enjoy a double life in the RPO. My role as pianist and personnel manager enables me to combine my playing with my administrative and organizational skills. My love and respect for the people in the RPO make both jobs extremely enjoyable and rewarding.
When I'm not onstage, you might find me on the phone.
I always thought it would be fun to be a paleontologist.
I love to dine at 2 Vine, Dinosaur Barbeque and Maria's Mexican Restaurant.
My favorite thing about Rochester is that it’s a small city with many of the amenities of a much larger city. Superb museums, restaurants, theater, dance and music are all very close at hand. Rochester is only a few hours by car to some of the most amazing natural wonders in the country: Adirondack Park, Letchworth, Watkins Glen, the Finger Lakes and so on.
What do think is the Orchestra's most important role in our community? To continue to bring great orchestral music to the public, both young and old - not by electronic means but live.
Joseph Werner is Principal Keyboard and Personnel Manager for the RPO and Co-Artistic Director for the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester. An active recitalist and orchestral soloist, he has performed with the RPO in concerto repertoire ranging from Bach to Barber. One of the busiest collaborative pianists in Rochester, he performs regularly with a host of Eastman School of Music Artist Faculty members and RPO soloists. He has recorded on the Columbia, Vanguard, NEXUS, Musical Heritage Society and Naxos labels. He also teaches piano and chamber music at the Hochstein Music School.