The Classical Station features the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra!

Interview with Eva Kozma for The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

by Bethany Tillerson (photo credit: © St. Louis Symphony Orchestra)

The Classical Station presents the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on ‘Monday Night at the Symphony’. Eva Kozma, Assistant Principal Second Violin, has performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for 18 years, making her the perfect person to talk about what has set this orchestra apart for over a century. Ms. Kozma received a Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship in 2003 and, more recently, performed with the Missouri Chamber Music Festival in 2019. She answered a few of our questions about performing with the St. Louis Symphony.

Q: Which composer’s music do you feel suits the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra the best?

KOZMA: This is a difficult question to answer! The SLSO has such a rich and colorful sound, and our orchestra sounds at its best performing music by composers like Brahms, Ravel, Mahler, Richard Strauss, John Adams, and Benjamin Britten, just to name a few. It also depends on who is leading from the podium. If we are excited about a particular piece and our conductor conveys a strong, meaningful interpretation of any given piece, I think we all bring our best.

Q: Tell me about an experience you had recording a new piece of music.

KOZMA: One piece that stands out for me is Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony. Our first read was quite difficult. I remember practicing the piece on my own for many hours over many days. The orchestra had the honor to record it with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Marsalis himself, led by our former Music Director David Robertson—a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Q: Do you have any fun stories about your time as part of the symphony?

KOZMA: My fun story is about a small black bird–maybe a starling–that flew into the hall and landed near the podium during a rehearsal with Maestro Leonard Slatkin, the SLSO’s Conductor Laureate. This bird may have been exhausted from flying around Powell Hall and landing in different spots, but once it reached the stage it seemed to calm down and just listened to us play music. So sweet!

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