Stand Partners For Life

Los Angeles Philharmonic violinists Nathan Cole and Akiko Tarumoto share ‘The Secrets of the Symphony’, telling tales and sharing tips from decades on the world’s stages with the greatest orchestras, soloists, and conductors.

Latest Episodes

Nathan and Akiko on stage in LA
006: Stand Partner Feud – Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts
006: Stand Partner Feud – Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

Let me start by saying that I just spent five minutes looking up the proper and accepted way to spell “do’s and don’ts”, so you can rest assured that I’ve nailed it! Do you want to be the kind of stand partner that your colleagues dream of playing with? Or do you want them to Read more…

Gustavo Dudamel and Nathan
005: What we love (and loathe) about young conductors
005: What we love (and loathe) about young conductors

“All music was new music once,” we often have to remind ourselves, and the same is true of conductors: they were all young once upon a time. But what does age have to do with a conductor’s artistic vision, or prowess with a baton? That’s what we figure out in today’s episode. Just how necessary Read more…

Nathan Cole, Chicago 2004
004: Audition advice for our younger selves
004: Audition advice for our younger selves

Everything would have been so easy if we’d just known then what we know now! In this episode, we revisit what auditioning was like back when we started, and what’s changed for us as we’ve both taken, and judged, so many orchestra auditions. Nathan likes to compare auditions to blind dates: you’ve only got a Read more…

Nathan Cole
003: Nathan’s journey from Kentucky to Curtis
003: Nathan’s journey from Kentucky to Curtis

Nathan comes from a musical family, which might have saddled him with unmanageable expectations. But his parents were careful to keep things light and fun, while making sure he had a strong foundation. In this episode, Akiko learns about Nathan’s beginnings in the Suzuki method with Donna Wiehe, his transition to Daniel Mason (who was Read more…

Akiko Tarumoto
002: Akiko’s journey from Eastchester to Harvard
002: Akiko’s journey from Eastchester to Harvard

Akiko’s parents aren’t musicians, but that didn’t stop them from wanting her to play an instrument from an early age. So when she was five, she began the violin in her public elementary school (imagine that happening today)! Before long, she and her mother were taking the train into New York City every Saturday to Read more…

Nathan and Akiko: Stand Partners for Life
001: Secrets of the Symphony; Meet the Stand Partners
001: Secrets of the Symphony; Meet the Stand Partners

In this first episode, we reveal the secrets of the symphony: what it’s really like to work day in and day out with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As two violinists raising three kids, we find that our job means different things to us on different days. It’s our passion, of course, but it’s also a Read more…


What Our Listeners Say

Customer Reviews
4.9 out of 5
215 Ratings
davidmiyamoto , 11/03/2022
Secrets of the Symphony!
A wonderful insider’s perspective of life as a professional musician shared by this phenomenal husband and wife duo, both violinists in the LA Phil. Nathan’s organized, logical approach is well-balanced by Akik…
Awesomeguy11 , 11/01/2022
So glad it’s coming back
Nathan and Akiko are a delight to listen to, and I look forward to the upcoming season learning more about their lives as violinists!
dnewmanm5 , 10/27/2022
This is a wonderful podcast. Highly recomme…
If you have any interest in how an American symphony orchestra works this is the podcast for you. They are wonderfully reasonable and candid about the life of a symphony play…
pghvla , 12/14/2020
Such a great window into life in classical mus…
I love this podcast. They have a wonderful chemistry and unique insight into life in a major orchestra, told with characteristic charm and intelligence. Really enjoying this podcast and keep them coming! , 06/30/2021
I love listening to these while I'm at work, thank you for making them! I wanted to see if you could make an episode on how to practice? As a violinist/violist I started a little late and never got a good…
chrishowardsocal , 09/29/2020
Great Behind the Scenes
Great Behind the Scenes Just finished listening to the first 5 episodes––awesome podcast. The hosts are articulate, humorous, and share a brilliant chemistry. If you play an instrument, take auditions, or want to see behind the scenes of a wor…

Free Guide: 8 Most Common Practice Mistakes

If you’re making any of these mistakes in the practice room, you could be killing your progress and wasting your hard-earned time. Here’s what to do instead:

Free Guide

If You’re Making Any Of These 8 Mistakes In The Practice Room

(and everyone I’ve worked with makes at least 1) you’re holding yourself back! Get back on track today:
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