Louise Vickerman, Harp – Musician Highlight
This week, take a few moments to get to know our harpist, Louise Vickerman.
What concerto did you audition with?
Ravel “Introduction & Allegro”
What is your favorite restaurant in Salt Lake City?
My home kitchen (my husband, Utah Symphony trumpet player, Peter Margulies is quite the chef). If we go out then the 9th & 9th neighborhood is excellent: Pago, Mazza & for a special splurge, Forage.
How many years have you been playing the harp?
Since I was 7 (so 30+ yrs…)
What other instruments do you play?
I recently revived my violin skills (I played violin back in HS & college) & play fiddle in a band mostly comprised of airline pilots, strange, I know…
What is your favorite quote?
I came across this quote in an article back when I was preparing for my concerto (Mark Adamo’s Four Angels), I don’t know who said it but it resonated with me, especially since I get the same rush every time the moment the wheels leave the ground when I take off in my airplane.
“I find performing addictive. You know the feeling you get when you’re doing something a little dangerous & scary, like when you drive too fast? That sensation happens every time I walk out onstage. It’s that thrill that got me hooked. That moment right before the lights go up & you think, I hope I remember my first line. It’s so nerve-wracking! But when it goes well & you remember & you do OK & you feel connected to the people around you, it’s a great feeling. I call it flying.”
What orchestral piece do you find most enjoyable to play?
No particular favorite piece, I enjoy playing Debussy, Ravel, Sibelius (1st Symphony), John Adams (his parts are rhythmic, difficult, but very fun since he treats the harp like a percussion instrument). Least favorite: Berlioz (he had no idea how to write for the instrument from a technical standpoint & he makes the harpist sit around for huge chunks of time then immediately play a very technically challenging solo cold with no warm up, very unkind!)
What advice would you give to young musicians?
I think learning music benefits young people in so many ways, it is a vital part of the overall education of our youth. However if you are a student who wants to eventually do this for a living then you have to be 150% committed, it is an exceedingly hard profession to really succeed in and if the passion & dedication aren’t there then find another career path.
What is one unusual item on your bucket list?
That list is a constant work in progress, I have already covered getting my pilot’s license, obtaining the glider rating & flying a glider over the Grand Teton Range, learning to shoot, owning a roadster convertible, running my first Ragnar this June & my first 1/2 Marathon in September, having one of my photographs published in a book that came out this July…. But after visiting Alaska this past January and experiencing my first taste of dogsledding, I think that competing in the Iditarod would be pretty darn amazing!