Paul Sheftel, Pianist, Composer and Pedagogue joined us in the studio to share his story about his teaching experience and his path to the use of technology in his piano teaching. We discussed many aspects of his remarkable career.
Ari Afsar. Ari is about to add HAMILTON to her list of credits that is already pretty impressive with American Idol contestant, and Miss California 2010 winner. This week, she will begin her performances as Eliza Hamilton in the Chicago HAMILTON cast. We got to sit down with her during the rehearsal process to discuss this amazing opportunity, and the steps that led to it. We talk about the ups and downs of getting fame at an early age, and why American Idol was both the best and worst experience for her. Also, listen in to this fun interview to find out how she still attended UCLA, even after the university turned her down; it’s a great lesson in tenacity!!!
Patrick is currently the First Horn chair for THE LION KING on Broadway. When he’s not playing for the pride, Patrick can heard in various gigs not only throughout the country, but throughout the world. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, he has been playing on Broadway for a few decades, and has also managed to rack up a few participation Grammy’s for his involvement in works produced by the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to being a wonderful french horn player, Patrick finds continued creativity through his exploration of conducting as well as composing. We were fortunate enough to have him provide an expert of his haunting composition, Meditations on Manhattan. A longer cut off his music is generously supplied at the the very end of the podcast. Listen in to hear some great stories from this fantastic individual.
Composer, arranger, orchestrator and pianist, Miho Hazama joined us in the studio to talk about her path to finding her mix between classical and jazz music. Currently, she is a New York City based jazz composer traveling the world performing her music. Starting as a pianist, her early studies in electronic organ later helped her with orchestration. From the age of 7 she started to study composition and later her interest in jazz started from listening to all types of music and in college hearing a big-band in rehearsal. She shared how she learned to improvise and find a balance between classical and jazz. Her life as a performer-conductor, arranger and composer is a balance that keeps her active and always busy. Recently released, she describes her second album with her jazz chamber orchestra, which includes new instrumentation for jazz music.
Lucy Simon, Grammy Award-winning, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and composer for The Secret Garden and Doctor Zhivago (Broadway opening April 21st) shares how the tapestry of her life experiences has lead her to writing for musical theater. Lucy shares with us how her compositional style is influenced and inspired by folksongs, opera, the lied of Schumann, Schubert and Strauss and operatic compositional techniques such as the use of leitmotifs. We talked about; her compositional process in writing songs, the challenges in writing the music for Doctor Zhivago, the path of Doctor Zhivago to the Broadway stage and her process in working with the lyricists, music director and orchestrators. Lucy shares her personal connection to the story as well as how the message of the story and poetry inspired her to create communicative melodies that translate the emotions and characters into a musical language.
Composer Christopher Cerrone, a member of the composer collective ‘Sleeping Giant’ talks about the range of instrumentation of his compositions and the challenges of writing an opera. Being drawn to the voice and using his love of literature he combined the two and found himself writing for the voice. He started writing an opera without much foresight and shares his process, and recommendations of what he learned through the process. From the age of about 16 he fell in love with classical music and started writing music without any compositional training, but found his way to NYU then to Manhattan School of Music for his musical training. Christopher talks about; networking in the music world and how it has lead him to be composing primarily on commission, the collaborative process with performers and it’s importance in the compositional process, difficulty of writing compositions that are difficult and finding a balance of playability, instrumentation, getting a piece played a second time and after the premier and advice to young composers today.