Ryan Driscoll. Ryan is currently on faculty at NYU and works as a music copyist for Broadway. Most recently Ryan was the copyist for the musical COME FROM AWAY, a show he feels incredibly proud of. Listen in to find out how Ryan’s path led from early success as a performer in his teens (starring opposite Idina Menzel), to following his heart to teaching and being a music copyist. His love of what he does is infectious; you are going to be entertained listening to Ryan tell his story and explain the world of the copyist.
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.
Lisa Alexander, bassoonist, is a solo recitalist and chamber musician in the New York metropolitan area and currently holds positions with The Ridgefield Symphony and The Little Orchestra Society. She is a founding member of the Glickman Ensemble, a bassoon chamber ensemble that has toured the United States and Europe. Ms. Alexander is Adjunct Professor of Bassoon at Hofstra University. She shares with us her career experience, reed making, synthetic reeds and all about Bassoons manufacturers and sound.
Gustavo Romero, concert pianist, professor of piano at the University of North Texas College of Music. A child prodigy he performed with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. He started to study at the Juilliard School at the age of 14, later graduating with a Bachelor and Master of Music. We talked about how he was able to make the transition to an adult career, later winning many competitions including the Clara Haskill International Piano Competition. His continuous passion for the piano allowed and still allows him to be able make changes effortlessly. We talked about repertoire and his process in chosing and learning his program music, teaching and the legacy of the great pianists
Elizabeth Earley. Elizabeth Earley is currently a swing in the Broadway production of SOMETHING ROTTEN, and has already been cast in the upcoming production of HELLO DOLLY, which has smashed box office records for ticket sales of a rival. Elizabeth sat down with us to chat about her experience of being a performer, but also to talk about her personal statement, “Tell stories, change the world,” which led to Project Oak Dance Training, a forum she created to help artists achieve more of their potential. Listen in to hear about her beautiful outlook on performing and teaching, and find out why being left handed has helped her “rub elbows” with some very successful individuals.
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!!!
Trombonist, Actress, Poet; Abbie Conant joined us in the studio to share stories of success, challenges, and perseverance. Currently, she finds artistic fulfillment in teaching and performing new theatrical works for Trombone with her husband William Osborne. We discussed her journey to Europe and experience with sexism in Italy as well as the Munich Philharmonic.
Dr. Tara O’Connor lit up the studio (as she does every place she goes) with her joviality and quick wit. In the interview it became apparent that if you really love what you do, you never need a “vacation”. Aside from teaching at numerous high-level music programs and performing in many prestigious professional performance ensembles, she makes time for personal music projects she believes in. As a flutist (not “flout-ist”) she had never felt the gravitational pull of the orchestral establishment being artistically fulfilled and free to blaze her own path as she has done so successfully. In our interview, you will not be able to help but be inspired and energized by her apparent love of music and the flute. And cooking. And photography.
Norman Carey faculty and administrator from the CUNY Graduate Center joined us in the studio to talk about his journey from pianist to theorist. He wears many hats and most identifies with his career as a pianist. After two performance degrees he pursued his Doctorate in Music Theory. We talked about; the distinction between a composer and theorist and how this was formed in the United States, the performer/theorist division and how curriculums can be more connective, the challenges of teaching an art form with traditions and understanding of why we do things, his time with Nadia Boulanger studying theory, his influence of Schenkerian analysis and the process his uses for his own compositions. His multifaceted abilities as a pianist, theorist, composer and as an administrator at the college level is what has made his career interesting. We posed a few questions for him to answer; fixed or moveable, how to teach keys and how to explain well-tempered.