Tag Archives: In the Pit

In the Pit: Roberto Cani, Concertmaster

Roberto Cani; Photo: Robert Millard

Roberto Cani; Photo: Robert Millard

Experiencing a violinist on stage performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in Milan, Italy, 7-year-old Roberto Cani determined then and there he would someday play that concerto. Attending Milan Conservatory, he practiced diligently to fulfill his dream. It was there that he remembers meeting Plácido Domingo, who was recording Otello but still took time out to greet young Roberto.

Moving to Moscow at age 20, he studied violin at the Gnessin Institute. He also traveled throughout Europe as a concert soloist, his repertoire including the Tchaikovsky Concerto, which he still enjoys playing. During the Paganini Competition, which he won, Abram Shtern heard Roberto perform and invited him to become his student. Roberto followed Mr. Shtern to Los Angeles in December 1992. Eventually receiving an Artist Diploma from the University of Southern California, Roberto continued to perform concerts in Europe and also served as guest concertmaster at La Scala, the London Philharmonic, and the Radio and Television Orchestra in Milan.

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In the Pit: Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

“Of all the things I do, playing with the LA Opera Orchestra is my favorite. I want to keep doing it as long as I can. I wish the opera did more productions because I love being there.”

In 1987 he joined the LA Chamber Orchestra as 2nd horn and began performing with LA Opera. Soon he discovered that he really enjoyed opera music and welcomed the opportunity to become 1st horn with the new LA Opera Orchestra.

In the 30 years since, Steve has performed in the studio orchestras of over a thousand movies and TV shows, and recorded with famous vocal personalities. Musical theater experience includes this summer’s revival of The Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages. He plays chamber music with Camerata Pacifica, participates in a woodwind quintet, and plays occasionally with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the California Philharmonic Orchestra and Muse/ique.

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