Front L-R: Zachary, James, Walter
"If it weren't for the Eastman School of Music
," Walter Preucil
said, "our family wouldn't exist!"
Careers have many times been built around a music school experience, but a family that grew out of one is less common.
Such is the case with cellist Walter and violinist Stephanie Preucil, both who have been with the Midsummer's Music Festival (MMF) since its inception and have been bringing their three musician sons Zachary, Anthony, and James with them each summer to Door County.
and my parents knew each other at Eastman," Stephanie said.
Violist William and violinist Doris, along with their children William, Jr., Anne, Jeanne, and of course, Walter, presented chamber music concerts around the country as the "Preucil Family Players.
One of the challenges of the festival, Walter
noted, is the fact that the ensemble performs the world's greatest masterpieces at peak performance.
"We only enjoy playing at the highest level," he
said, "or it's not fun!"
The changing venues during the concert season, including private homes as well as public places that sometimes serve as improvised concert halls, require the musicians to make adjustments depending upon the space and acoustics - "spontaneous changes in bowings and articulation every night," Walter said.
Occasionally he has to make a modification because the close quarters have put an audience member in the pathway of his bow!
likes the individuality of the performance, too.
"I get to shape an ending," he
said, recalling one piece in particular in this season's repertoire, "independently, using my experience and education, not following a conductor's demands.
Walter has been a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago orchestra since 1988, playing on a cello made by Giovanni Fiorillo in 1781.
Stephanie and Walter are on the faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.
Students who begin lessons as three-year-olds, Walter
added, "have a mother and a father and a teacher, the three adults influencing them throughout their lives, and the teacher is the first adult influence outside the family."