A leisurely chat with cellist Daniel Rothmuller (part 1 of 2): the LA Phil’s former Associate Principal shares his stories, opinions, and post-retirement plans
September 25, 2012 3 Comments
In concerts, not only did his role of Associate Principal Cello put him at the front of the stage, he had the habit of being the only gentleman to liven-up his black-and-white concert formal wear with a splash of bright red. After concerts, he was regularly seen holding court with friends and musical luminaries at the restaurant on the ground floor beneath the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (variously known throughout the years as Otto Rothschild’s, Otto’s, and now Kendall’s).
Even on video, Mr. Rothmuller tends to pop up seemingly more often than others. Two examples:
- In One Minute, Maestro, a 1984 documentary for Finnish TV, there is the outspoken cellist remarking immediately after Esa-Pekka Salonen’s US debut with the LA Phil: ”I always wait for the concert. A lot of conductors, a lot of musicians — people can do things at rehearsals, but the only thing that really counts is the performance: see how that comes off. And that came off even better than I thought it would.” He later adds, rather presciently, “I feel he will be, I think, a real star. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, he’s so good.” (You can view it HERE, on the “Celebrate Salonen” website, if you search for “1984″ and fast-forward the video to about 4:28.)
- In Huell Howser’s behind-the-scenes look at the orchestra’s 1993 tour to the Lucerne Easter Festival (Switzerland), there he is again, this time being asked about how his assigned Stradivarius (aka “Cello Rothmuller”) gets its own frequent flyer miles.
That’s all about to change.