Patrick Neal, assistant principal violin, has studied music at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music. Neal also earned a bachelor's degree in cognitive science and a master's degree in the cognitive psychology of music. He has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony and as concertmaster for the Greater Buffalo Opera Company. In 2008, Neal was invited to participate in a European tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
As a chamber musician, Neal has studied with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and Vermeer quartets. He has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Bowdoin Music Festival and the Kneisel Hall chamber music festival.
While pursuing a fellowship with the New World Symphony, Neal served in the concertmaster rotation and was a winner of the New World concerto competition. Neal has performed as a soloist with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Amherst Symphony, the Clarence Symphony, the Ars Nova Musicians and the New World Symphony. Neal serves as a member of the adjunct faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University. Recently, his summers have been spent performing chamber music and orchestral repertoire at the Breckenridge Music Institute and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Neal has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic since 2001.
Patrick Neal is underwritten by Joan T. Loos.
Name: Patrick Neal
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
At what age did you begin playing your instrument? I was 2 1/2 when I started playing the violin.
Who have been your greatest musical influences? That’s a hard question!
Who are your favorite composers? If pressed, I’d have to say Mahler, Wagner and Elvis Costello.
What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? I completed a good portion of a Ph.D. program in cognitive psychology before I decided to be a professional musician.
What’s currently playing on your iPod or CD player? Solo Bach partitas and sonatas for violin. Also, I like listening to electronic music a lot.
Your hobbies and interests: Tennis, cars, motorcycles, hiking, movies, books.
Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: As a kid, I played in a somewhat serious rock ’n’ roll band. Up until a few years ago, I had played more rock concerts than classical concerts!
Funniest concert moment: Michael Krajewski conducting the orchestra with a brownie.
Daily practice rituals: Breakfast; start playing the violin, get mad at the violin; lunch; come to a tenuous agreement with the violin; dinner; bed.
The question you’re asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): At the airport: “Is that a trombone in that case?” My answer: “No, it’s a violin.” Fellow traveler: “Are you sure, because my neighbor plays the trombone and his case looks just like that.” (silence.) Fellow traveler: “I play a little guitar.” This is a very frequent exchange.
Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic: Hmm, Mrs. Daniels’ deliciously catered lunches maybe? Other than that, I’d have to say my favorite thing is working with just about the nicest colleagues of any orchestra in the country.