The Covid era has been devastating for so many. Ironically, with the forced shutdown and necessary compliance protocols, musicians were immediately robbed of their ability to perform and entertain at a time when the public needed a positive source of entertainment while stuck in their homes. Talented artists like Trista Wong and her fellow members of the Phoenix Symphony found new ways to collaborate and bring music to the masses, such as in their many online performances like the one with two-time CMA Award Winner and fourteen times-nominated Country music artist Dierks Bentley. While Dierks Bentley might be among the more popularly recognized names, Ms. Wong has a long history of performing with esteemed musicians in ensembles including the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and internationally with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra. The career of a Classical violinist such as Trista Wong demands a deep commitment to exploring the possibilities available while imparting her own passion to audiences everywhere.
Pursuing a career as a symphony member is not the modern day template for those seeking attentional and adulation from the public. Still, the dedication someone such as Ms. Wong has exhibited in her mastery of the violin and a library of the most respected compositions of all time allows her to keep one foot steeped in tradition while embracing opportunities of the future. Trista considers it to be part of her mission as a member of the Phoenix Symphony to expose varied generations to the wonderment that music offers. She relates, “As a musician of the Phoenix Symphony, I aspire to become more influential in the field of music, inspiring people to learn more about music and eventually allow music to be part of their daily lives. We have the responsibility to teach people about music and how to appreciate it. Music has a great impact on the society. It is part of the culture and it brings people together. We are professionally trained musicians, and we are eager to do whatever we can to bring the best music to the audience. We offer a diverse variety of music programs every year, hoping to fit everyone’s needs. We have to take the initiative to reach out to everyone. Therefore, we always visit care centers and shelter facilities and play for the patients, homeless people and anyone in need. We genuinely hope that everyone can enjoy music and be closer to one another through the power of music.”
As the largest music organization in Arizona, the Phoenix Symphony brings this sonic artform to the public in greater abundance than any other performing entity. The Phoenix Symphony is known for its willingness to explore and present musical styles that extend far beyond the regular classical repertoires. Trista confesses, “I think playing contemporary music also allows us get out from our comfort zones and be introduced to a new way of music playing. We should always be open-minded and appreciate the beauty in different genres of music.” Examples of this diversity can be seen in the Phoenix Symphony’s Arizona State University Gammage Auditorium performance of Steve Hackman’s Brahms v. Radiohead. This epic symphonic synthesis of Radiohead’s album OK Computer and the Brahms’s Symphony No.1. is a melding of romantic period music and contemporary music. In this arrangement, elements from both pieces interact and overlap with each other as if listening to Brahms through the eyes of Radiohead and vice versa, leaving the audience to wonder what exactly they are listening to. Perhaps somewhat more traditional, the symphony’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Beethoven Symphony No.1 and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, prompts the audience to define for themselves what emotions the music elicits. Trista points out that the ensembles presentation of selections of songs sung by Renee Elise Goldsberry at Symphony Hall offers a collection a selection of songs from pop, gospel music, and musicals like On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Rent and Hamilton.
Trista Wong is happy to be spreading her influence further east this summer as she has been invited to take part in Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival as Third Chair First Violin. This summer’s performances at the esteemed music festival will range from classical period music like Mozart’s Symphony No.35 to romantic period music such as Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.5 and even selections from Broadway shows and world premiere pieces like Misha Zupko’s Blue Matter. Located at the historic Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County in the pavilion created by the iconic architect Frank Gehry, the Grant Park Music Festival will undoubtedly be thrilling for all in attendance, including violinist Trista Wong who will be key in creating this environment.