Charles Schuchat, Principal Tuba
When did you begin to play your instrument?
I started playing the tuba in 7th grade after previously playing trumpet and euphonium.
Where did you study your main instrument; with whom?
In high school I studied with Joel Bristor and attended Northwestern University where I studied initially with Robert Rusk and later with Arnold Jacobs. I continued to study with Mr. Jacobs until his death almost 20 years later.
When did you join ESO?
What other orchestras have you played with/do you play with now?
I’ve performed and recorded with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony and Israel Philharmonic. I’ve played with all the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony, and I’m the tubist with the Chicago Sinfonietta and Tower Brass of Chicago, in residence at Fourth Presbyterian Church.
What was your most memorable ESO performance?
That is an impossible question since I have had so many memorable concerts over the years. Sometimes it is memorable because of the performance and sometimes it is memorable because of who is on stage or in the audience. I remember playing “Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Mendelssohn where, because of the orchestration, I got to sit in the center of the back row, between the trumpets and horns. It was great to change locations and hear how different the orchestra sounded from a new seat. However, it was also memorable because my parents were visiting from Washington, DC and were able to hear my Elgin Symphony live.
What are some of your interests, and how are you passing the time?
I love cooking (homemade cherry pie picture below!) and practicing yoga. Fortunately, I am able to keep up on both during the pandemic.