Appearances: Mendocino Music Festival, California, 2017; Texas Music Festival, Houston, 2015; Marrowstone, Bellingham Washington, 2015
What is your earliest memory of classical music? Waking up on the weekends to my dad playing music on the stereo. Unfortunately, he was waking us up to do chores but I enjoyed the music nonetheless.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? I knew I wanted to pursue music in middle school. I knew even then that if I had a career in music I wouldn’t have to “work” a day in my life.
What inspired you to audition for TŌN? I heard about TŌN through my clarinet section-mates who graduated last year, Sangwon Lee and Elias Rodriguez. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with them for the 2 years we were in TŌN together but I’m also very much looking forward to playing with our new incoming clarinets.
What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century? I don’t believe there’s a perfect model that every orchestra should follow. I think the word to focus on here is flexibility. Every community is unique and it’s up to orchestras to be aware of their community and interact with them in a way that’s meaning to both musicians and the audience.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Chris Thile. As a mandolin player he’s collaborated with countless musicians across a multitude of genres. He seems to have so many eclectic projects going on at the same time and genuinely enjoys all of the work he does. He’s classically-versed, socially-conscious, amazingly talented, and overall a sincere and admirable human being.
What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suites 1 and 2. It’s a very demanding piece of music, but when it comes together it creates a soundscape that takes the listener to another world. Highly rewarding for the musicians and the audience.
What has been your favorite experience as a musician? Playing in a rehearsal lead by Sir Simon Rattle
Favorite non-classical musician or band: Punch Brothers
If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Pipe organ
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Teaching music in public schools
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? Our current president, Deborah Borda (executive director of the NY Phil), and the president of the National Association for Music Education in order to discuss the importance of music education in public.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: I’m an avid squash player.
Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, seek out as much knowledge as you can both musically and otherwise, and be kind to everybody.