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 Orchestra: 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.