Nathan Cole is one of the faces of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's new education initiative, Dream Out Loud. The program, a collaboration between the CSO and Yamaha, is designed to give music educators resources to encourage young people to learn instruments and make music part of their lives.
A centerpiece of the project is four posters of young Chicago Symphony musicians and additional biographical and educational material at the program's website. There, you can find a piece Cole has written reflecting on his experiences learning to play the violin.
"I was 15 when I decided I wanted to play in an orchestra," the Lexington native writes. "At the time, I was in a summer program and heard the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. They played Dvořák’s New World Symphony and I thought, 'This is great. Everything they play is perfect. They never miss anything. I want to be in a group like that.' Now that I am, I shudder to think what people in the audience are expecting."
Indeed, while the program is aimed at Chicago area schools, it would be great for Lexington kids to log on and be reminded that they can grow up here and go on to play in one of the nation's greatest orchestras, or do any number of other amazing things. There's also a video feature at the site with Nathan impressively playing the violin and not-so-impressively playing basketball. (Hoops really isn't an issue when you have such a fantastic day job.)
~ By the way, this weekend, sorting through some CD piles at home, I ran back across Nathan's debut CD, Rapid Approach. It really is an impressive little disc including Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata No. 1 in g minor for solo violin, Bela Bartok's Sonata for solo violin and four works by Augusta Read Thomas. The playing is spectacular, and I was particularly taken with Jeremy Young's production, which has just enough reverb to let you lean your head back and imagine you are in the concert hall with Nathan.