Anthony Plog on Music

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Gene Pokorny, The Legendary Orchestral Tubist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Anthony Plog, host
Eddie Ludema, producer

Date posted: Dec 5, 2022

Many people believe Gene Porkorny is the greatest orchestral tubist of his generation. A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1989, he has also been a member of the Israel Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. But in addition to his orchestral playing, Gene is an exceptional solo artist and chamber musician.

Part 1

As a young man, Gene studied with many of the great brass players of our time. In Part 1 of our discussion, he talks about what he learned from each of his teachers (Jeff Reynolds, Roger Bobo, Larry Johanson, Tommy Johnson, and Arnold Jacobs and what made each of those teachers so special. He also talks about a concert in May of 1973 that changed the course of his life.

Part 2

Gene Porkorny has had a truly illustrious career as an orchestral musician. In Part 2 we talk about his many experiences with great orchestras of which he has been a member. Beginning with his joining the Israel Philharmonic at the age of 22, Gene talks about his learning curve, what it was like to work with different orchestras and their principal trumpet players, and the reasons why he will play different instruments for different composers and works.

Bonus Room

In addition to his orchestral career, Gene is also an accomplished soloist and chamber player, and I ask him about this aspect of his career. Finally, a huge influence on Gene and his thinking is the author Stephen Covey and his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." And, as always with Gene, there is a lot of laughter!

The podcast theme music, Four Sierra Scenes, written by Anthony Plog, is taken from Crystal Records S205, copyright ©1980 Crystal Records Inc., and is used by permission. Unauthorized duplication is not permitted.