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In this final Ensemble ACJW Fellow Friday post, say hello to the three Michaels: Michael Katz, Michael Smith, and Michael Zuber!

The first Michael has a rare, and interesting genetic mutation, the second had a short-lived acting career, and the final Michael has a zen-like pre-concert ritual.


ACJW Michael Smith 300x300

Michael Smith, Piano

Pianist Michael Smith enjoys a diverse career as an active soloist, chamber musician, and educator within many different musical communities. As a soloist, Michael has been a featured artist on Wisconsin Public Radio and holds prizes in numerous competitions, including the Neale-Silva and MTNA young artist competitions. He performed as part of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in summer 2014, and is currently completing his doctorate at Stony Brook University as a student of Gilbert Kalish.

Where is your hometown?
Davis, California

What is your most prized possession?
My hands

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
Play to learn, because you can always take joy in the process.

Who is your musical hero (dead or alive)?
I find the manner in which Dmitri Shostakovich found his voice amid both the political environment within Communist Russia and the established tradition of Russian Classical music incredibly inspiring.

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
I’m particularly careful about eating and drinking properly on the day of a concert, as well as making sure I have decent circulation in my body right before I play, meaning I often move about quite a lot before I step on stage.

Any other fun facts you’d like to share?
I have an extremely rare, benign, genetic mutation which has caused my fingers to grow extra tissue, making them thick and squishy. It is not uncommon for people I’ve just met to immediately ask to touch them as soon as they notice. 

 

 

Michael Katz, Cello

Israeli cellist Michael Katz has performed at festivals such as Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn, and Sarasota, and presented recitals at prominent venues in the US, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Israel. Michael received his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory as a student of Laurence Lesser and his master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Joel Krosnick. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at Stony Brook University with Colin Carr. 

ACJW Michael Katz 300x300

 Where is your hometown?
Tel Aviv, Israel 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
Probably an archaeologist or something that involves philosophy and/or theology.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
Performing is not about proving something but about sharing something.

What do you like to do when you're not playing music?
Watch tennis, have deep one-on-one conversations, and playing computer games!.

Who is your musical hero (dead or alive)?
My good friend Roger Lowther is a Juilliard-trained organist who moved with his family to Tokyo to work as the music director of Grace City Church. Shortly after moving, he also started an organization called Community Arts Tokyo, which is dedicated to bringing musicians and artists in Tokyo together, something that doesn’t normally happen there. When the tsunami of March 2011 hit Japan, instead of packing his bags and leaving with his family like most foreigners did, he loaded a van with supplies and drove straight to the disaster zone in northern Japan. Recognizing that the emotional need was just as great as the physical one, on his next trip he brought a keyboard and a few other musicians and organized concerts for the survivors. This became a regular thing and in the summer of that year, I had the chance to join him with several other Juilliard students and play at the shelters. Roger is an example for musicians whose main concern is how to help others and where they are needed the most—something that can make a huge impact on any community.

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
I don’t like to eat much before concerts (depending on the importance of the concert, I eat very little or sometimes not at all). Right before getting on stage, I usually jump around the room to get an adrenaline rush and sing the opening of the piece I’m about to play.

Any other fun facts you’d like to share?
I had a very short-lived acting career. When I was about nine years old, I dubbed one of the puppies in the Hebrew version of the 1995 movie Babe. My only line was, “But Mommy, he’s going to wet the bed!” 


 
ACJW Michael Zuber 300x300

Michael Zuber, Bassoon

Bassoonist Michael Zuber began studying the bassoon at age 14 with Glenn Einschlag, principal of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Michael’s travels have taken him to music festivals at the National Arts Centre and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Michael received his bachelor’s degree from The Colburn School where he studied with Richard Beene, and his master’s degree from Yale University, where he studied with Frank Morelli.

Where is your hometown?
Buffalo, New York 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
I’ve always been interested in architecture. I don’t have the math chops for an engineering degree. I’m just interested in the sculptural and functional elements.

What is your most prized possession?
I love our dog Kaki, but my bassoon is my life and what gives me purpose.  

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
“Don’t play it faster than you can say it,” which I think is credited to Dorothy DeLay. My former bassoon teacher told me that.

Who is your musical hero (dead or alive)
I try not to idolize people, but I always have the most respect for my teachers. All of them have been incredibly influential on my life and helped me recognize what I have to offer. That’s why I enjoy teaching so much. It gives me a chance to return the favor.

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
Mainly, I just try to keep as calm as possible. That usually involves a nap. I tell people I’m in my zen state and I don’t deal with any problems or questions that don’t have to do with the performance.

2 months ago | |
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Artists Abdullah Ibrahim, Dizu Plaatjies, William Kentridge, and others talk about the voice as a unifying element among South Africa's exhilarating diversity of sounds.

WithUBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa festival less than a month away, we will continue to post videos that explore the many threads that make up South Africa's vibrant culture.


 



Madala Kunene and Phuzekhemisi
Madala Kunene
Saturday, October 11 at 9 PM
Madala Kunene
Phuzekhemisi

A pair of masters from KwaZulu-Natal headlines a double bill that showcases two aspects of contemporary Zulu maskandi music, often dubbed the “Zulu blues.” Madala Kunene and his quintet draw on the spiritual aspects of the style, while Phuzekhemisi performs exuberant, high-energy music with singers and dancers in traditional attire.

 
Pretty Yende
Pretty Yende
Monday, October 13 at 7:30 PM
Pretty Yende, Soprano
Kamal Khan, Piano

Pretty Yende earned standing ovations when she made her 2013 Metropolitan Opera debut in Rossini’s Le comte Ory. Of that performance, The New York Times said, “Her voice has a luminous sheen ... She delivered some of the most difficult coloratura passages with scintillating precision.”

 
Elza van den Heever
Elza van den Heever
Friday, October 24 at 7:30 PM
Elza van den Heever, Soprano
Vlad Iftinca, Piano

South African dramatic soprano Elza van den Heever won raves for her 2013 Metropolitan Opera debut as Elizabeth I in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. Now this remarkable singer displays her tremendous range and versatility in her New York recital debut, singing Handel arias and songs by Schumann, Brahms, Fauré, and three South African composers.

 
Elza van den Heever
Angélique Kidjo
Wednesday, November 5 at 8 PM
Angélique Kidjo and Friends
    MAMA AFRICA: A TRIBUTE TO MIRIAM MAKEBA
Grammy Award–winning vocalist Angélique Kidjo celebrates the life and music of iconic South African singer and political activist Miriam Makeba, known popularly as “Mama Africa.” Kidjo shared a close relationship with Makeba, studying with her and eventually performing with her in Paris and South Africa. Kidjo returns to Carnegie Hall—with Makeba’s supporting singers Zamokuhle "Zamo" Mbutho, Faith Kekana, and Stella Khumalo—in this tribute to a remarkable woman.

2 months ago | |
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This fall, WQXR, New York City’s classical music station and Carnegie Hall will once again bring concerts from the renowned concert hall to national and international audiences through live and recorded broadcasts and webcasts of 12 concerts from the 2014–2015 season.

Carnegie Hall Live will kick off on Wednesday, October 1 at 7 PM EDT with a live WQXR broadcast of Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala concert by the Berliner Philharmoniker featuring Sir Simon Rattle and Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Other highlights from the series include piano recitals by Daniil Trifonov with masterworks by Bach, Beethoven, and Liszt, and Sir András Schiff, performing late sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; orchestral concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony; and programs featuring eminent vocalists Joyce DiDonato and Thomas Hampson.

For the first time, the vibrant radio and digital series will be co-hosted by luminaries from the arts world. Soprano Deborah Voigt, who has previously guest-hosted WQXR’s Operavore program, will join WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon for Opening Night. Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce will co-host the Daniil Trifonov recital on December 9 and New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert will celebrate his birthday by joining Spurgeon at the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on February 23. Other notable names will join for various performances throughout the series.

During each broadcast, WQXR and Carnegie Hall will host live webchats featuring behind-the-scenes insights by the broadcast team, color commentary by the hosts, and interaction with the broadcast/webcast listeners, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other. NPR Music will also join as a digital partner on select concerts.


2014–2015 Carnegie Hall Live Concerts

October 1 - Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala: Berliner Philharmoniker
November 7 - Academy of Ancient Music
November 20 - San Francisco Symphony
December 9 - Daniil Trifonov
January 30 - Chicago Symphony Orchestra
February 9 - Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger
February 23 - Mahler Chamber Orchestra with Leif Ove Andsnes
March 10 - Sir András Schiff
March 18 - The Philadelphia Orchestra
April 16 - Le Concert des Nations
April 30 - English Baroque Soloists with The Monteverdi Choir
July 11 - The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

2 months ago | |
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Trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Hugh Masekela discusses why he has spent six decades championing South African arts and heritage.

With the UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa festival just around the corner, we will continue posting videos throughout the coming weeks that explore the many threads that make up South Africa's vibrant culture.

 



Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela
Hugh Masekela | Vusi Mahlasela
Friday, October 10 at 8 PM
Hugh Masekela
Vusi Mahlasela

    TWENTY YEARS OF FREEDOM
Two of South Africa's true freedom fighters and musical icons—legendary trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Hugh Masekela, and vocalist and songwriter Vusi Mahlasela—are joined by guest artists to celebrate 20 years of democracy and the end of Apartheid in South Africa with a program of stirring freedom songs.

2 months ago | |
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With the UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa festival just around the corner, we will be posting videos throughout the coming weeks that explore the many threads that make up South Africa's vibrant culture.

Today, we share a video with musicians Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Angélique Kidjo, David Kramer, and others as they reflect on the Apartheid era.


 



Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela
Hugh Masekela | Vusi Mahlasela
Friday, October 10 at 8 PM
Hugh Masekela
Vusi Mahlasela

    TWENTY YEARS OF FREEDOM
Two of South Africa's true freedom fighters and musical icons—legendary trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Hugh Masekela, and vocalist and songwriter Vusi Mahlasela—are joined by guest artists to celebrate 20 years of democracy and the end of Apartheid in South Africa with a program of stirring freedom songs.

2 months ago | |
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Ensemble ACJW is introducing new 2014–2016 fellows every Friday. Today let’s greet Elizabeth Fayette, Beomjae Kim, and Kobi Malkin.

Find out about what these musicians like to do when they aren’t playing music, what non-classical music they listen to, and other things that make them unique!


ACJW Elizabeth Fayette 300 02

Elizabeth Fayette, Violin

Elizabeth Fayette made her Carnegie Hall debut in October 2013 as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra and Maestro Alan Gilbert. Other highlights of the past season include a performance with the Houston Symphony as a prizewinner in the 2013 Ima Hogg Competition, second prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and chamber music performances in Alice Tully Hall and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Pamela Frank, Shmuel Ashkenasi, and Arnold Steinhardt. Subsequently, she completed a master’s degree at The Juilliard School as a student of Sylvia Rosenberg. She is continuing her studies with Ms. Rosenberg in Juilliard’s artist diploma program.

Where is your hometown?
Wading River, New York

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
I always thought it would be fascinating to be a journalist, especially one who gets to travel a lot. Talking to people, telling their stories, and being in the middle of historic events (while seeing all different parts of the world) seems like an amazing way to live your life!

What is your most prized possession?
My bow! I have had this bow since I was a teenager, and, perhaps sentimentally, I feel that it has grown up with me as I have developed as a musician. My answer will definitely expand to include a violin someday—I don’t currently own my violin (too expensive! It is on generous loan), but having one of my own is hopefully in the near future.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
My teacher at Curtis, Pamela Frank, told me once that I should only be nervous to perform if I was completely unprepared, or if I had nothing to say about what I was playing. If either was the case I shouldn’t bother walking on stage, but if neither was true, to stop worrying and just play. This is something that has stuck with me, and has helped make walking on stage an exciting experience rather than a nerve-wracking one.

What do you like to do when you’re not playing music?
I lead a pretty simple life—I like to cook, hang out with friends, go to museums and read. When I am not practicing or rehearsing, one of my favorite things to do is to sightread chamber music with my friends! This doesn’t really fall under the category of “not playing music,” but it’s a fun way to unwind, hang out with friends, and simply enjoy being a musician.

Any other fun facts you’d like to share?
I am a compulsive reader—it is not unusual for me to start a book before bed, finish it in one sitting, and only then realize that I have read through to the morning!


 

Beomjae Kim, Flute

Beomjae Kim holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music; during his studies, he received various scholarships such as the Oberlin College International Grant, Conservatory Dean’s Scholarship, President’s Award, Bowdoin Woodwind Fellowship, and Toyota Motor Corporation Scholarship. Beomjae has been featured in festivals such as Alba Music Festival in Italy, Dani Muzike Festival, Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and New York String Orchestra Seminar.

ACJW Beomjae Kim 300px

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
My dad is an architect. I grew up seeing him working, and was inspired by discussing with him different architects and their works; in fact, he still influences me. I always wanted to be an architect just like him even after I started studying music.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
Always keep the music fresh! Find the flow in my body first, then in music!

Who is your musical hero?  (dead or alive)
Leonidas Kavakos, Jascha Heifetz, Julia Fischer, Yo-Yo Ma, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Fritz Wunderlich, Alfred Cortot, Sviatoslav Richter, Mitsuko Uchida, Menahem Pressler, Frank Zappa, and Erik Satie.

What artists or songs (not classical) are you currently listening to?
Hard to name just a few! I have been enjoying listening to traditional music from the Middle East and India, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Chet Baker, Frank Zappa, The Mothers of Invention, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pink Floyd, Muse, Nirvana, Belle and Sebastian, Simon & Garfunkel, and Josh Ritter!

Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
Both of my flute teachers, Linda Chesis and Michel Debost. I admire them for their great artistry of music making and endless passion for music; they have given me great advice on how to stay constantly inspired, and have always provided wise answers when I face adversity both musically and in my life.

Any other fun facts you’d like to share?
I love playing Baroque and Classical music on historical instruments! 


 
ACJW Kobi Malkin 300px

Kobi Malkin, Violin

Kobi Malkin, winner of the prestigious Ilona Kornhauser Prize, has performed with important orchestras around the world. As an active chamber musician, he has collaborated with Itamar Golan, Frans Helmerson, Kim Kashkashian, Roger Tapping, and Peter Wiley in such festivals as Ravinia, Music@Menlo, and The Perlman Music Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Miriam Fried, and a master’s degree from The Juilliard School where he studied under the guidance of Sylvia Rosenberg and Donald Weilerstein. Kobi plays a 1701 Pietro Guarneri violin, generously on loan to him by Yehuda Zisapel.

Where is your hometown?
Karmiel, Israel 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
I would be a National Geographic photographer, or an assistant to a photographer, or a driver of a photographer; anything that will take me to see wild nature around the world.

What is your most prized possession?
My LP collection; I love the quality of old recordings for everything they are, starting with taking the record out of its sleeve, putting it on the turntable, lowering the needle, hearing the occasional scratches ... analog recordings are so wonderful. Even without speakers connected to the record player, one can hear the music through the vibrating needle, and this quality—despite how much technology advances every day—cannot (in my opinion) be reproduced digitally.  

What is your favorite place to visit?
The desert in Israel (in the Negev desert region) at the beginning of a Hebrew calendar month (beginning of the moon cycle). The sky is full of stars and the Milky Way looks like a carpet over your head. Another favorite place is a different desert on the bank of the Dead Sea, where you can see the most beautiful sunrises over Jordan and the water of the Dead Sea.

What artists or songs (not classical) are you currently listening to? 
I love jazz and listen to jazz recordings (mostly of older times) quiet often. Some of the artists I listen to are Stéphane Grappelli, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, and Keith Jarrett. I also listen a lot to Israeli songs of such musicians as Shalom Hanoch and Arik Einstein; listening to them always give me the feeling of being at home while I'm far away. 

What do you like to do when you’re not playing music?
 When I was younger, I wanted to be a pilot and recently I received a wonderful gift: a flying lesson, which was incredible. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to get a pilot license!

On a more ordinary day, I like to sight-see wherever I am. I walk, and explore cities and nature. And eat! I love trying new kinds of food. Lately I discovered the Ethiopian cuisine and I can’t get enough of it.

2 months ago | |
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Summer is quickly coming to a close, and it’s time to trade in our beach balls and bathing suits for backpacks and uniforms. Here’s a handy back-to-school guide featuring 10 useful supplies for musicians of all ages! What’s on your back-to-school list?


1

Pencil Guard Holder for Music Stand

Every musician needs a convenient place to hold their pencils when practicing.

 
Back to School pencil guard

 

2

Sheet Music Stand Clip

Keep your music from flying away with sheet music stand clips.

 
Back to School music stand clip

 

3

Water Bottle

Make a trip to the water fountain in style with our Carnegie Hall stainless steel water bottle.

 
 Back to School CH water bottle

 

4

Pencils

Jazz up your writing tools with the treble-clef pencil.

 
Back to School pencil

 

5

Metronome App

Ditch your ancient metronome for a digital version which allows you to share your playlists with your teacher and classmates.

 
Back to School metronome app

 

6

Baton

You can’t lead an orchestra without a conductor’s baton!

 
Back to School baton

 

7

Music Stand

Take your music on the road with this portable wire music stand equipped with folding capability and a carrying bag.

 
Back to School music stand

 

8

Carnegie Hall “Practice” Journal

Jot down your notes in our “Practice” journal.

 
Back to School practice journal

 

9

Chromatic Tuner App

You won’t ever have to worry about being off tune with this digital chromatic tuner app. For iOS or Android.

 
Back to School chromatic tuner app

 

10

Manuscript Paper

Aspire to be the next Beethoven? You will need to have access to manuscript paper to write and store your musical masterpieces.

 
Back to School manuscript paper

 

3 months ago | |
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Each week throughout this summer, we have posted a new Summer School playlist focusing on an instrument or performance topic. This is the final installment in the series, but you can continue learning throughout the year with our vast library of master class and professional training workshop videos.


For this final Summer School post, members of the Berlin Philharmonic discuss how to prepare for auditions and performances with an orchestra. Woodwind panelists Albrecht Mayer, oboe, and Stefan Schweigert, bassoon, discuss what orchestra members listen for during auditions, and how to prepare for anticipated problems with nerves and focus during performance.

3 months ago | |
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Ensemble ACJW is introducing new 2014–2016 fellows every Friday. Out of the 18 new fellows, today we are welcoming Garrett Arney, Andrea Casarrubios, and Danny Kim.

Find out about what these musicians value, musical advice they have received, and other fun facts!


ACJW Garrett Arney 300x300

Garrett Arney, Percussion

Percussionist Garrett Arney is a veteran of numerous international competitions and has performed with groups as varied as So Percussion and Lunar Ensemble, as well as with Michael Burritt and Boris Berman. With a special passion for expanding the repertoire of percussion music, Garrett actively pursues the commissioning and development of new works, including Alejandro Viñao’s Book of Grooves for two marimbas, giving the world premiere with Sao Aoki in January 2012. Hailing from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Robert van Sice, Garrett also holds degrees from Michigan State University and the Peabody Institute.

Where is your hometown?
Lansing, Michigan

What is your most prized possession?
A wooden box that was made for me a very long time ago. In this box, I have things that matter most to me and remind me why I play music.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
“You have to eat, sleep, and breath music.”

Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
As a percussionist, I own many small instruments. The most recent instrument I acquired is a djembe that was brought to me on a street in Ghana after much bargaining with a master drummer.

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
I pace a lot. 

Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
Lucille Tuckey—she was my piano teacher through my childhood. I realized recently she gave me so much of my musical thought, and I credit her very much for the way I think about and play music.


 

Andrea Casarrubios, Cello

Andrea Casarrubios has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in many countries throughout Europe, Asia, and America, and has collaborated with artists Daniel Phillips, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ida Kavafian, Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad, Amit Peled, and Wing Ho among others. Andrea studied cello with Maria de Macedo in Madrid and continued with Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute; she completed her master’s degree in 2013 at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. She has collaborated in festivals such as the Verbier Festival Academy and the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, Festival Pablo Casals in France, and Ravinia SMI in Chicago. 

ACJW Andrea Casarrubios 300x300

Where is home?
Arenas de San Pedro, Spain 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
It’s hard for me to imagine my life without music, to be honest. I would be such a different person without it, and I don’t know what that person would like to do at this point!

I went through many phases when I was little. My father is an artist—he used to sit with me at a table and we would draw and paint together. I loved it and I wanted to become one. Later, I went through some years of not being able to stop reading and so I wanted to become a novelist. Afterwards, the idea of flying to find new planets and exploring galaxies fascinated me, but I did not like my chemistry classes ... so this probably was not a good idea. I also loved ballet and dancing—this activity seemed safer and didn’t involve leaving the planet Earth, which pleased my family. Then I found a passion for inventing and building things, thus I randomly made a big car out of carved wood—I don’t even remember how, but it worked!

At the end, learning music and sitting down to practice was the one love that remained with me through all these years.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
“Let’s go.”

I had a yoga instructor for a while in Los Angeles who always used to say this at the end of each session, before opening our eyes to get up and go back to our lives. It wasn’t meant to be advice—much less musical advice, of course—but I think of it every time I start a piece, whether it is old or new. It is a way to remind myself that there is a journey ahead each time that there is a performance, and the journey is always a different one. It keeps my ears alive for anything that comes along, and it reminds me that there is always something to be lived and to be delivered.

Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
The cello I play is only four years older than me. It was made in 1984 by French luthier Étienne Vatelot. It was a present from my parents. I went to Paris to try it and bring it home many years ago. It was NOT love at first sight—we have had to work hard and be patient with each other through our 10-year relationship since my hands are too small for this quite sizable instrument! Although I needed a better instrument at the moment, this cello has taught me a lot. 

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
As a good Spanish citizen, I try to take a small siesta so that my brain has energy to burn later at the concert. Then I eat some dark chocolate, sometimes even backstage between different works when they are too difficult ... and I make sure to ask whoever is with me to tell me a joke before I go on stage.


 
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Danny Kim, Viola

Violist Danny Kim recently earned his master’s degree in viola performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Samuel Rhodes. An ardent supporter of teaching and working with young people, Danny took part in a residency in May 2013 with El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela, where he coached chamber groups and performed with his string quartet Quartet Senza Misura. He has also taught at the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute and has led orchestra sectionals for Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. Danny recently completed a tour of South Korea with Quartet Senza Misura and with Richard O’Neill for his 10th-anniversary concerts. 

Where is your hometown?
St. Paul, Minnesota 

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
Me
: I’m so scared of messing up that scary, difficult passage in the concert!
Teacher: Danny, if you do mess up, who cares?! 

Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
The violist of the Bohemian Quartet, Oskar Nedbal, was a former owner of my instrument. I think that’s why I love to play Dvorák so much on it!

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
Bananas! And a nice nap.

What artists or songs (not classical) are you currently listening to? 
The Beatles, Snoop Dogg, ODB, Michael Jackson, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, The Roots, Daft Punk, Queen, Atmosphere, Jurassic 5, Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder, and Dave Brubeck 

Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
My three past viola teachers have done wonders for me. My first teacher on viola was Sabina Thatcher. After that, it was Sally Chisholm at University of Wisconsin-Madison for my bachelor’s, and then I studied with Sam Rhodes at The Juilliard School for my master’s degree. I cannot thank these teachers enough for how they helped me grow in so many ways besides just music.

3 months ago | |
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Ensemble ACJW is introducing new 2014–2016 fellows every Friday. Out of the 18 new fellows, today we are welcoming Garrett Arney, Andrea Casarrubios, and Daniel Kim.

Find out about what these musicians value, musical advice they have received, and other fun facts!


ACJW Garrett Arney 300x300

Garrett Arney, Percussion

Percussionist Garrett Arney is a veteran of numerous international competitions and has performed with groups as varied as So Percussion and Lunar Ensemble, as well as with Michael Burritt and Boris Berman. With a special passion for expanding the repertoire of percussion music, Garrett actively pursues the commissioning and development of new works, including Alejandro Viñao’s Book of Grooves for two marimbas, giving the world premiere with Sao Aoki in January 2012. Hailing from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Robert van Sice, Garrett also holds degrees from Michigan State University and the Peabody Institute.

Where is your hometown?
Lansing, Michigan

What is your most prized possession?
A wooden box that was made for me a very long time ago. In this box, I have things that matter most to me and remind me why I play music.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
“You have to eat, sleep, and breath music.”

Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
As a percussionist, I own many small instruments. The most recent instrument I acquired is a djembe that was brought to me on a street in Ghana after much bargaining with a master drummer.

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
I pace a lot. 

Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
Lucille Tuckey—she was my piano teacher through my childhood. I realized recently she gave me so much of my musical thought, and I credit her very much for the way I think about and play music.


 

Andrea Casarrubios, Cello

Andrea Casarrubios has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in many countries throughout Europe, Asia, and America, and has collaborated with artists Daniel Phillips, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ida Kavafian, Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad, Amit Peled, and Wing Ho among others. Andrea studied cello with Maria de Macedo in Madrid and continued with Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute; she completed her master’s degree in 2013 at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. She has collaborated in festivals such as the Verbier Festival Academy and the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, Festival Pablo Casals in France, and Ravinia SMI in Chicago. 

ACJW Andrea Casarrubios 300x300

Where is home?
Arenas de San Pedro, Spain 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
It’s hard for me to imagine my life without music, to be honest. I would be such a different person without it, and I don’t know what that person would like to do at this point!

I went through many phases when I was little. My father is an artist—he used to sit with me at a table and we would draw and paint together. I loved it and I wanted to become one. Later, I went through some years of not being able to stop reading and so I wanted to become a novelist. Afterwards, the idea of flying to find new planets and exploring galaxies fascinated me, but I did not like my chemistry classes ... so this probably was not a good idea. I also loved ballet and dancing—this activity seemed safer and didn’t involve leaving the planet Earth, which pleased my family. Then I found a passion for inventing and building things, thus I randomly made a big car out of carved wood—I don’t even remember how, but it worked!

At the end, learning music and sitting down to practice was the one love that remained with me through all these years.

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
“Let’s go.”

I had a yoga instructor for a while in Los Angeles who always used to say this at the end of each session, before opening our eyes to get up and go back to our lives. It wasn’t meant to be advice—much less musical advice, of course—but I think of it every time I start a piece, whether it is old or new. It is a way to remind myself that there is a journey ahead each time that there is a performance, and the journey is always a different one. It keeps my ears alive for anything that comes along, and it reminds me that there is always something to be lived and to be delivered.

Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
The cello I play is only four years older than me. It was made in 1984 by French luthier Étienne Vatelot. It was a present from my parents. I went to Paris to try it and bring it home many years ago. It was NOT love at first sight—we have had to work hard and be patient with each other through our 10-year relationship since my hands are too small for this quite sizable instrument! Although I needed a better instrument at the moment, this cello has taught me a lot. 

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
As a good Spanish citizen, I try to take a small siesta so that my brain has energy to burn later at the concert. Then I eat some dark chocolate, sometimes even backstage between different works when they are too difficult ... and I make sure to ask whoever is with me to tell me a joke before I go on stage.


 
ACJW Daniel Kim 300x300

Daniel Kim, Viola

Violist Daniel Kim recently earned his master’s degree in viola performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Samuel Rhodes. An ardent supporter of teaching and working with young people, Daniel took part in a residency in May 2013 with El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela, where he coached chamber groups and performed with his string quartet Quartet Senza Misura. He has also taught at the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute and has led orchestra sectionals for Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. Daniel recently completed a tour of South Korea with Quartet Senza Misura and with Richard O’Neill for his 10th-anniversary concerts. 

Where is your hometown?
St. Paul, Minnesota 

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
Me
: I’m so scared of messing up that scary, difficult passage in the concert!
Teacher: Danny, if you do mess up, who cares?! 

Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
The violist of the Bohemian Quartet, Oskar Nedbal, was a former owner of my instrument. I think that’s why I love to play Dvorák so much on it!

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
Bananas! And a nice nap.

What artists or songs (not classical) are you currently listening to? 
The Beatles, Snoop Dogg, ODB, Michael Jackson, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, The Roots, Daft Punk, Queen, Atmosphere, Jurassic 5, Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder, and Dave Brubeck 

Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
My three past viola teachers have done wonders for me. My first teacher on viola was Sabina Thatcher. After that, it was Sally Chisholm at University of Wisconsin-Madison for my bachelor’s, and then I studied with Sam Rhodes at The Juilliard School for my master’s degree. I cannot thank these teachers enough for how they helped me grow in so many ways besides just music.

3 months ago | |
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