Meet Joseph Peterson

Reno Phil Tombonist
Photo by Margeaux Maloney
Photo by Margeaux Maloney

What year did you join the orchestra?

How long have you been playing music?
22 years

How did you pick your instrument?
I grew up in a musical family. My mom is a bassoonist and my brother was a percussionist. My dad was a trombonist and he had multiple trombones sitting around the house. I started on one of his trombones.

I am the Artistic Planning and Operations Manager for the Reno Chamber Orchestra and Nevada Chamber Music Festival. Our office is located across the hall from the Reno Phil Offices. Next time you’re visiting the Phil office, stop by the RCO and say hello!

When you’re not playing with the Reno Phil, what would we most likely see you doing in your free time?
I have been trying to get more into watching all types of films, including independent and international. When I’m at work, I love to talk with Reno Phil Development Director Michael Hicks who is the resident cinema expert at McKinley about the latest films we both enjoyed.

What genre of music are you most excited to play?
I get most excited about playing new music from composers of today. Playing a world or American premiere of a piece is incredibly exciting.

What is your favorite piece of all time to play, and why?
Mozart’s Requiem. One of the most satisfying things as a trombonist is to play with a great choir and we often double what the choir is singing for support. Mozart’s Requiem is one of the pinnacles of classical music for us.

If you could meet one composer/musician, who would it be and why?
Stravinsky. Fascinating person who knew everybody in music and the arts and was so important to 20th century music. I would love to visit him at his Los Angeles home.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
I love the excitement of a huge city. New York, London, Paris come to mind. I’m always searching for great restaurants.

What do you think the audience would find surprising about you?
I have an odd habit of shuffling cards during my down time.

What about performing live music brings you joy?
The exhilarating feeling of a great performance that moved the audience.