Patrick Tsuji is the principal flutist with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, and besides his evident proficiency, he brings something more to the orchestra. He has an active understanding of the importance of community in classical music, and is especially attentive to how this community dynamic is manifested in the ongoing process of education. Tsuji also has a uniquely refined ablity to enjoy the collegial aspect of orchestral music — that camaraderie that is the inevitable result of the close collaboration of a performing orchestra.
We asked Patrick to tell us more about his interest in education, and why he is so drawn to this aspect of classical music; his perspective is of real value to both those learning and those teaching. Here's what he shared with us about that, as well as his illuminating thoughts about why classical music can be so valuable.
Inside OSC: There is a lot to the world of classical music beyond what we see in performances, and one of the most important examples of that is education. Can you tell us a little about your own interest in teaching, and why you consider that aspect of classical music so important?
Patrick Tsuji: Music education is a great way to provide access to a wider range of musicians! I intend to share my knowledge and experience with other students to help sustain and foster the next generation of musicians. Education promotes a space for new musicians to engage and add their experiences to the music community as a whole.
Inside OSC: Classical music is so multidimensional that everyone involved in it has their own individual perspective on what they have found so valuable in their music. Can you tell us what you feel that classical music has given to you?
Patrick Tsuji: Classical Music has allowed me to collaborate with a diverse collective of musicians. Performing with Oistrakh allows me to reunite with my colleagues from school, festivals as well as other ensembles. It’s always exciting and comforting to perform with familiar faces! In that sense classical music has given me a strong sense of camaraderie with my colleagues. I definitely feel the camaraderie within the Oistrakh Symphony and I believe it creates a healthy and successful performance environment.
Currently based in Chicago, Patrick Tsuji has been playing with the Oistrakh Symphony since 2015. He has participated in festivals such as Spoleto Festival USA, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival. Patrick was the third-prize winner of the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition. He was also a Fellow with The Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Patrick received his Master of Music from Rice University and his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. His teachers include Jeanne Baxtresser and Leone Buyse.