Eric Mollo Cristensen

Bassoonist Erik Mollo-Christensen joined LSCO in 1994

When our son went to middle school he expressed an interest in playing bassoon, he had played clarinet for a few years and thought it would be more interesting. I had not played for a number of years while my children were very young; between being a parent and having busy work schedule there wasn’t room for one more thing, but my son’s interest prompted me to start playing again. LSCO was local (LSRHS is five minutes from our house), I knew some of the students and parents, and it was an ideal place for me to start playing again.

I have always enjoyed playing, especially with a group of people that became friends over the years. My work life consumed so much of my time, but has been great to be part of a community group that has let me balance work and play.

My best memories are of the time when the orchestra was half adults and half students. There were quite a few parent-child combinations playing, including me and my son David, who usually played first chair ahead of me. It was a terrific bonding experience for us. It made little difference that I had played for many years and my son for only a few, so it was great fun to play as a section together. Trombonist Dave Grossman and his twin sons as the entire trombone section, Ethan Mattor and his daughter on horn, but my favorite pair was Pip Moss and his dad Lenny. Leonard Moss was a retired violinist from the Boston Symphony, clearly way above the rest of us in ability and experience, and modestly played first stand/second seat 2nd violin.

He enjoyed quietly coaching the other violinists, especially the students, but the best moments were when Pip as the conductor would get to a difficult string part of a piece, and just say, “Hey Dad, how would the BSO bow this?” It was both humble and entertaining at the same time, and a great reminder that yes, we all have to play our parts even if we are a retired professional musician.

My favorite works over the years are the Tchaikovsky Symphonies No. 4 and 5, Rossini and Mozart overtures, Beethoven Symphonies 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7, and all the student concerti/solos we would typically do at the spring concert.