Concertmaster of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Freelance Violinist
Any certification/training necessary?
Countless hours of training in violin technique and playing music with others
What inspired you to go into this field?
My parents are musicians and I grew up listening to all kinds of music – classical, jazz, and Broadway were my favorites. I loved to sing and play the violin and I couldn’t imagine a life without music. At around age 14 I figured out that I actually might be able to make a living as a violinist and started practicing 4-5 hours a day!
How did you get started?
I got my start as a musician singing in elementary school chorus and writing Broadway-style shows to perform with neighborhood friends. However, I always wanted to play the violin. At 9 years old I had finally grown big enough to play the 3/4-size violin that my cousin gave me, so my parents signed me up for violin lessons.
I received my early education at the New England Conservatory in Boston, earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and Master of Music degree from Florida State University.
What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
In performances, I strive to play my violin with freedom and ease. However, preparing for performances is anything but easy and takes enormous amounts of time, focus, soul-searching, and discipline. This is true for individual musicians as well as ensembles like the Brevard Symphony. From the time a program of music is proposed by the BSO’s Music Director, Christopher Confessore, to the actual performance, dozens of people labor for months to bring the music to life for a few short hours.
What kind of music is on your iPod?
I rarely listen to classical music in my spare time. I love jazz, Broadway, pop, rock, traditional and world music. Recently I’ve been drawn to Amy Winehouse, Pink Martini, Lady Gaga, Judy Garland, and the film and TV music of Joe Harnell (who wrote the music for the original Incredible Hulk series.) I love classic British rock. I really love Bossa Nova and Jobim’s music. My favorite musical of all time is “Gypsy.” If you ask me in a month I will probably come up with a totally different list of favorites!
What do you enjoy the most?
It is always thrilling for me to pick up my violin and make a beautiful sound, but I most enjoy making music with others in an orchestra or small ensemble.
What’s the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me in my career as a violinist is to continue to improve my instrumental and musicianship skills. There will never be a day where I will feel that I have mastered playing the violin!