It’s 1:16 p.m. and Nancy Fisch sits at her desk, making mysterious, hieroglyph-like squiggles on a copy of music.
With a freshly sharpened pencil in her left hand — her left-handedness is a sign of her brilliance, she jokes — she’s transferring the squiggles from one copy of a score to another.
“Let’s see how long it takes me,” she says, savoring the challenge.
Fisch is the Joan Rivers of symphony librarians, a wise-cracking, Brooklyn-born, former French horn player with a talent for organization, a salty sense of humor and a tireless devotion to the orchestra.
The music in front of her: the viola part of Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major. It’s one of the works that flutist Sir James Galway — the most famous flutist on the planet — will perform next month in the concerts that open the San Diego Symphony’s centennial season.
On her right is the music prepared by the symphony’s principal violist, Che-Yen Chen. On her left is the copy that needs work.