What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
I’m thrilled to be joining the Jacksonville Symphony and look forward to getting to know the city, the people, and playing many great concerts. I was previously a member of the San Antonio Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Tulsa Opera, City Music Cleveland and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. I’ve also performed with many other orchestras throughout the country, notably The Cleveland Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic. 

Do you have any pre-concert rituals or routines?
I don’t have any rigid rituals or routines but I like to get to the hall early to try my reeds and make any final adjustments to them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
My parents are both physicians and I did well in biology and chemistry in school, so probably something in the medical field. That said, I really can’t imagine doing anything else and consider myself very lucky to be a professional musician! 

What teacher, mentor or other influencer inspired you the most?
I’ve been very fortunate to have great teachers my entire life. I started studying with the principal oboe of the San Antonio Symphony, Mark Ackerman when I was 12 and continued working with him until I went to college. I not only learned how to play the oboe but also how to work hard, think critically, and be a compassionate, thoughtful person. Mark has been such a great friend and mentor to me for so long it’s impossible to quantify the impact he’s had.

Musically, my time studying with Robert Walters, Solo English horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, was extremely influential. He is a supremely elegant musician and a gifted teacher. The way I prepare and what I strive for in performances is very much influenced by his teaching. 

What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my wife Megan and our puppy, Emmylou. I enjoy reading, cooking and eating good food. I’m also an avid cyclist and am looking forward to the warm winters in Jacksonville!  

What has been your favorite moment on stage?
There have been some pretty special moments on stage (and hopefully much more!) but one that really stands out was performing the Rite of Spring on the season-opening concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra. It’s an incredible piece and was my first time playing with what had long been my favorite orchestra.  That combined with the energy of the beginning of a new season and sitting between two of my teachers is about as good as it gets!

In my short time so far in Jacksonville, I really enjoyed playing Mahler’s, Rückert Lieder. It’s such a beautiful piece and there were some pretty magical moments. 

Do you have any pets?
My wife and I have a very energetic and happy rescue puppy named Emmylou. She is very smart, somewhat strong-willed, and makes us laugh every day. 

Who is your favorite composer?
I don’t think I can pick one! Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven are transcendent and their music is a large part of why I wanted to be a musician. I also particularly love Brahms, Mahler, Ravel, and Richard Strauss. 

Education
New England Conservatory – BM – Studying with John Ferrillo
Cleveland Institute of Music – MM – Studying with Frank Rosenwein
Oberlin Conservatory – Artist Diploma – Studying with Robert Walters