Associate Principal Cello
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA Member: 2017
What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
I’m so excited to be here! I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Jacksonville Symphony, to explore great repertoire with great people and musicians, and to get to know this awesome new town.
Do you have any pre-concert rituals or routines?
I stretch and focus on my breathing to warm up.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
Theatre, teaching, working with children and animals.
What teacher, mentor or other influencer inspired you the most?
I have been inspired by so many wonderful artists. Jacqueline DuPré made an enormous impact on me as a young girl. Yo-Yo Ma is the real deal in real life – I was fortunate enough to have a few lessons with him as a youngster; Gregor Piatigorsky, Leonard Rose, and Pablo Casals were also major influences growing up. Peter Wiley, Natasha Brofsky, and Evelyn Elsing have been my incredible mentors these last two decades.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my husband, our two fur babies, and our family & friends. I love film, theatre, reading, hiking, and being outside in general. I can garden again for the first time since I was a kid, so I’m also loving that!
What has been your favorite moment on stage?
I have been so privileged as a musician – I have experienced a great deal of my life on stage. If I had to pick one, it would have to be performing Shostakovich with the Excelsa Quartet in England at the Britten-Pears Festival in 2009. The piece lasted about 23 minutes, and it truly felt as if the entire audience and the quartet got into a musical vessel or bubble of some sort and we were all transported together for those 23 minutes – living the music as if we were connected intrinsically. When the piece was finished, the room fell silent and we all sat completely still for about 90 seconds before it felt as if the journey had concluded. Only then did we all feel the release of that journey and move forward into our normal human space and time. The shared energy between everyone was a truly remarkable feeling and this was a moment I will forever cherish. It showed me that this connection for which we are all searching – the sense that we truly belong to each other and to no one – absolutely does exist. We need only stay open to the opportunity for such unique moments to appear.
Do you have pets?
I have a 12-year-old Maine coon, Sita (she’s definitely queen of the house) and an 11-week old Aussie-terrier mix puppy, Aurora. They are both so intelligent and they have incredibly strong personalities. The pup, we call her Rory for short, is teething and keeping us on our toes all day long right now, but she is so sweet and so much fun!
Who is your favorite composer?
I find it impossible to pick one favorite. Luckily, I get to enjoy them all! I absolutely love the classics – Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Bach. Debussy and Stravinsky are also staples in my musical diet. I’m a devoted fan of twentieth century and contemporary composers such as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, and Henri Dutilleux, and I am enjoying getting to know the music of the fascinating Finnish composers, Kaija Saariaho and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
I got my Bachelor of Music degree from University of Maryland, my Master of Music degree and Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory, a Master of Chamber Music degree from Hochschule Luzern in Switzerland, a Diploma from Hochschule Köln, and I am currently a Doctoral Candidate at University of Maryland. I should be finished with my dissertation by fall of 2018 and henceforth forever finished with being an institutional student.