More Than Musicians: Hidden Hobbies of the BSO

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Listening to live music is a top-notch way to find balance in our busy lives, and we Bostonians are lucky enough to have world-class musical experiences in our city year-round. But what is there to do when playing live music is your proverbial 9 to 5 gig? We’ve uncovered some of the secret hobbies of BSO musicians to see what they do when they aren’t creating beautiful music for our city.

Blaise Déjardin

Hobby: Baking

“I always liked pastries, but I became inspired to bake myself after watching The Great British Bake Off two years ago. I loved the creative aspect of it and I missed traditional French pastries, so making them myself seemed the easiest way to eat them. I have an uncle who was a pastry chef so I have memories of his cakes and croissants—I thought maybe I would have the baking gene, too.”

James Cooke

Hobby: Running

“I first started running before I was a freshman in high school on the cross-country team and took it up again in Boston at graduate school. Running helped me prepare for auditioning for the BSO; when you train, you put in a lot of disciplined work. I run on my own to relax, but running the Tanglewood Relay with teammates and working towards a common goal is just like the teamwork showcased in an orchestra.”

John Ferrillo

Hobby: Photography

“I am the son and grandson of artists, and I married an art historian and weaver. Although I was not gifted at drawing and painting, I developed a fascination with what was also a serious hobby for my dad: photography. My wife Lynn’s wonderful eye helped teach me about composition. Proportion, form, and color are also part of what we contemplate as musicians. It is a very peaceful, meditative act.”

Mihael Jojatu

Hobby: Cooking

“I got into cooking as a kid when I was visiting Italy. I will never forget the fantastic pizza and pasta that we’ve tasted along the Adriatic Sea! I always wanted to replicate what we ate on that trip. I built an oven mainly to make pizza, but I use it to cook different kinds of foods. I actually find that music and food have a lot in common; that’s why there are many talented chefs in the BSO.”

Toby Oft

Hobby: Photography

“I became interested in photography because many of my friends in the orchestra are shutterbugs. As an art form, it became a way to connect with people and events that enriched my life. The trombone and the camera relate as they are both puzzles to figure out and it takes creative thinking to find solutions for both endeavors. Although perfection is painfully impossible in either case, I find lasting joy when I improve my craft.”

For more information on musicians and to find a full schedule of upcoming performances at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, visit bso.org.

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