Awards/Competitions: Grammy nomination, 2019 National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, Ruggles, Stucky & Harbison: Orchestral Works, David Alan Miller, conductor; Winner, 2016 San Francisco Conservatory of Music Baroque Concerto Competition; Awarded, 2014–present, 1921 cello by Giovanni Cutugno, Carlsen Cello Foundation
Appearances: Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, VA, substitute, 2019; Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, MD, substitute, 2018–19; National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, MD, 2017; Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, VT, 2013–14; Zephyr International Chamber Music Course and Festival, Italy, 2015; International Masterclasses Gaming, Austria, 2017
What is your earliest memory of classical music? Listening to the recording of Brahms’ E-minor Cello Sonata performed by Mstislav Rostropovich; also hearing Tchaikovsky symphonies on the CD player in my living room.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? There was no “aha’ moment. It seemed to evolve naturally. I started playing around town with a string quartet while in high school. That was my first exposure to playing music professionally, and also when I began considering it as a means of employment.
How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply? I first learned about TŌN at a music festival where I met a member of the orchestra. After that, I looked more into the program and was very excited about the performance opportunities in NYC, especially at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? Chopin, especially his Nocturnes.
What has been your favorite experience as a musician? One wonderful benefit of a life in music is the opportunity to travel. Playing chamber music with people from all over the country and in beautiful places around the world have been some of the most memorable experiences in my life. Playing my first complete string quartet at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, VT, performing at the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in the northern Italian Alps, and studying Baroque cello with Guy Fishman in rural Austria have been particularly memorable.
Do you have any embarrassing performance stories? I once hit myself in the head with my scroll while turning pages in an orchestra concert. Luckily I don’t think anyone noticed.
What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Be sure to find some hobbies, and stick with the ones you enjoy.
If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Jazz/Rock drum set
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? I’ve always been interested in science and technology, especially alternative energy and robotics.
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Probably Paris, because of all the great composers who walked the city before me, and the beautiful architecture and the gardens at Versailles.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? Barack Obama, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lady Gaga. I think it would make for great conversation.