In early January, Julie Coucheron received a surprise email. Due to a last-minute cancellation by pianist Stephen Hough, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra needed someone to step in on two weeks notice to perform Felix Mendelssohn’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” with the orchestra. Would she be interested?
Her first reaction was a mild panic. She had played the concerto before, but when she was 11-years-old. She hadn’t performed it as an adult, much less with a full orchestra. Her worries quickly turned to excitement when she realized it was the opportunity she’d long hoped for: performing with the ASO. As an added personal bonus, her brother — violinist David Coucheron — is the orchestra’s concertmaster.
“When these opportunities arise, you have to take them,” Coucheron says. “I was surprised at how much of the concerto I actually remembered from when I was 11.”