Offstage: Dani Meier & Patrick Pfister

Thursday, August 20

Get to know the musicians of the Omaha Symphony from their front porches.

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Not up close but still personal: meet Dani Meier and Patrick Pfister, Bass & Principal Trombone

Our musicians have been away from the concert hall since March, and they miss you—they miss the synchronicity created when performing with their colleagues and incredible guest artists, they miss seeing your faces in the audience, and they miss the community that forms when we gather to share live symphonic music.

While we eagerly await our return to the hall, we're visiting some of our musicians' front porches for a physically distant but intimate look into their lives outside the concert hall as they share stories about music, life in the pandemic, and what keeps them connected.

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One of several married couples in the Omaha Symphony, Dani (Bass & Vice President of Artistic Administration) and Patrick (Principal Trombone) live in North Omaha with a herd of their own cats and several fosters. They've kept themselves busy during the pandemic by recording physically distanced chamber music with friends, learning video editing, and growing more tomatoes than they bargained for.

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We asked Dani to answer a few questions about her own musical journey, quarantine, and Omaha:

How did you choose your instrument?

They ran out of cellos! My brother played violin and I knew that I did *not* want to play that very high thing he kept practicing upstairs, but I was the fifth person to sign up for four cello spots. My teacher pointed at the quarter-sized bass in the corner and said, “No one’s playing that!” and I immediately went for it. The chance to be special and important as a 9-year-old? Amazing.

What’s your favorite thing about Omaha?

So much possibility. When I moved here, it felt like the only real limitation was how much I wanted to do, not a lack of opportunity.

Any Omaha restaurant recommendations?

Totally depends on what you’re looking for! In between rehearsals? Shahi Indian on Farnam is perfect. Want to enjoy a leisurely few hours with excellent food and excellent wine? La Buvette in the Old Market. Dario’s in Dundee for the best burger (or mussels…) and fries. Ice cream, though, is hands down Coneflower in Blackstone.

What are your top three desert island pieces?

This is (almost) impossible. Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony – it’s got everything and always ends up with me conducting in my office/car/living room. Debussy’s “Beau Soir”: perhaps the most beautiful few minutes of music I’ve ever gotten to hear. And Stravinsky’s Pulcinella – the full thing – recorded by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. I would wear that CD out.

What’s your favorite “physical distancing trend”?

Baking and Gardening! Getting a chance to really study what I’m doing, whether or not it’s working, taking notes, making adjustments, and generally hovering over my plants. Also, teaching patience, because I don’t know if people know this but… plants take time to grow.

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Meet the rest of the orchestra here.

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