Associate Principal Horn
Gabrielle Finck has been associate principal horn since 2008.
If you had to do something other than be a Baltimore Symphony Musician, what would you do for a living?
Honestly, if I lost the ability to play the horn for the BSO, I’d probably rush as fast as I could to master some other instrument or musical form so that I could keep having a life of music. There are other things to life, of course, and I have diverse interests, but I can’t think of anything I’m more suited to.
Where is your favorite get-away spot or favorite get-away companion and why?
Circumstances led me to get to know the Adirondack mountains in northern New York when I was in high school. It’s like a giant nature playground; Swimmable lakes, jumpable waterfalls, kayaking everywhere, mountains to climb, camping anywhere you please. You can even gather downed wood and make campfires in most places. The weather is always perfect (read: low humidity and mild temperatures) in the summer. I’ve adapted my vacation style to my changing stages of life, but the “rondacks” have continued to work for us. We’re going this summer. Want to come along?
What piece of music do you feel was written for you?
Mahler’s Das lied Von der Erde is a particular favorite because it is such a prolonged, all-encompassing work. It feels like it’s about a whole universe, a whole lifetime. Also, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses because that piece fits my horn playing better than anything else. I feel like Hindemith’s writing style is what my lips were made to play. Bruckner’s Symphony#6, because it seems to describe a paradise that is exactly what I would design…if I were designing paradises…
Who influenced you to be a professional musician?
My teachers were my major influences during the times I studied with them. They were professional performers, they modeled the life I wanted, and gave me a personal look into the career I was aspiring to. Music students and teachers form a kind of apprenticeship rarely seen in our day, and it seems there’s really no other way to find your way into a professional career, other than following the one-on-one guidance of people who have already traveled the road you’re on.
What do you like to do with your ”me time”?
Me time? I have two babies! Me time is now “us time”, which is something I’ve had to get used to. My favorite things to do as a family are walking to the Bolton Hill swim club playground, going to the Roosevelt Park kiddie pool, seeing the blue beads at the BMA, and looking at the butterflies at the Walters Art Museum.
How do you give back to our community?
I’ve tutored English at the Esperanza Center in Fells Point, I’ve served lunch at Our Daily Bread, I’ve had homeless people sleep at my house, we donate to the SPCA and Catholic Charities, we’ve taken in stray cats, I give stuff to the people with the cardboard signs, I teach horn lessons, I’ve hosted a moms playgroup, I take people meals and watch their kids. Every little thing counts. My philosophy is to pay extra attention to the poor, and to generally try to help people with the things they need help with. I feel like helping people is the reason I’ve been put on this earth.