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.
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
During our conversation with Jack Schatz, Trombonist, we learn just how networking was done in the 80s which still holds true today, playing your best and saying yes. Jack started as a piano student and tells the store of how he became a monster of the the low brass world of jingles, studio work, broadway and orchestra gigs. In his “spare” time Jack managed to beat cancer, teach at the college level and have a family in the big apple. In the Fall, Jack is taking on new adventures on the faculty at SUNY Purchase.
Lorin Latarro: Choreographer Lorin Latarro was 2 weeks into the rehearsal process for the highly anticipated new musical by Sara Bareilles: WAITRESS when she sat down with us in the studio. Lorin tells a great story involving Barry Weissler, and Diane Paulus and how she actually got the job to be the choreographer for the new musical. While she says she’s “lucky” to have had so many successful working collaborations, it is clear to us that talent and her great personality are the key to her “luck.” We also touch on her transition from a dancer who has 14 Broadway credits, to a choreographer. Lorin recounts her Broadway debut as a dancer in which she left her Radio City show, started rehearsal on a Monday, and by Friday night was on. A self described “work horse,” Lorin is also the Artistic Associate at Bucks County Playhouse, and teaches at her alma mater, Juilliard where she is continuing to help dancers find their voice on many levels. She is also a strong advocate for the school to develop a musical theatre program. Listen in; we are sure you will love Lorin just as much as we did.
Catherine Cho, Musician, Violinist, Teacher, and Performer chatted with us about her teaching and performance focus. As a teacher she focuses on the ‘total person’, ‘how to practice’ and developing a balance in life between practicing and life. From her own experience preparing for competitions she offers her current students a view of the full picture of how to become a well rounded performer and competitor. We talked about the process of learning of undergraduate and graduate student and how she guides her students to becoming independent and finding their own pathway to their careers. As a chamber music coach her focus changes to helping students how to rehearse, how to listen to themselves, listen to each other and how to interact/communicate as a group. We also talked about how she manages her own practice, manages her own career schedule, her family life with fellow musician Todd Phillipps of the Orion String Quartet and how she communicates with parents of young violin students of how to support their child in their learning.
Denson Paul Pollard, Bass Trombonist of the MET Opera Orchestra, talked with us about his most recent sabbatical leave to play with the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Helsinki Finland. He took the audition after spending a few weeks playing with the orchestra, taking the risk along with 50 other bass trombonists he won the audition. The year was a superb experience, he talked about how the culture in Finland values and supports the arts, and how his experience of auditioning again gave him the opportunity to validate what he tells his students at Juilliard, Bard and Mannes. We talked about; the difference between European and American Conservatory student’s learning focus, what did he learn about himself going through the process of auditioning, the struggle of maintaining the excellent of performance in the MET orchestra given the demands of the schedule, demands of playing the trombone, the learning curve in learning the repertoire, how he relaxes away from his job, the rationale of his youtube channel examples, his exploration of new repertoire, how he learned the bass trombone and what lays ahead in the future.
Woodwind Quintet – “Windscape” members, Tara Helen O’Connor, Randall Ellis, Alan R. Kay, David Jolley and Frank Morelli joined us for a lively conversations about their collaboration for over two decades of performing. We talked about their start, their first program and how they became associated with the Manhattan School of Music. Known for their thematic programing, they discuss how they; create arrangements, the process in road testing their new arrangements, finding new music, create programs and how to talk to an audience. We also spent time on the mundane logistics of getting five busy people together for rehearsals and how they have learned to rehearse efficiently. Throughout our conversation they focused on the importance of offering great music to audiences and focusing on the audience’s experience. From our conversation you can hear how much “joy” they have working together and their mutual esteem as colleagues allow them to work together so effectively.
Violist David Creswell, talked to us about his path to being a very active freelancer in New York City, from Broadway to the New Philharmonic. He shares his love of how the viola can be the conduit of so much color in an ensemble and how he followed his career goals to pursue an orchestral career. Personal connections and auditions lead to him establishing a network and the skills needed to be successful in freelancing. The pros and cons of a permanent job and the diversity a freelancing career offers (teaching, chamber music, Broadway, orchestra, recordings, pop). David shares his interest in tuning, teaching, and his teaching of eurhythmics and viola at Juilliard. While he still takes auditions for jobs, he shares his reasoning on why to take an audition and how he prepares. We talked about; skills for filling in as a substitute in orchestras, time management skills needed for a freelance career and the priorities that ensures success.
This weeks guest, violinist, Joyce Hammann, sits down to discuss her own journey from being young and broke to playing on Broadway. Paying rent by playing music on street corners, to eventually playing Phantom of the Opera for 25 years and becoming the Concertmaster. Joyce lets us in on the duties of being a concertmaster: knowing when to step in, and when to let problems solve themselves. She also opens up about how crossword puzzles and the quite support of her colleagues helped her through her own rough patch dealing with “the pressure of perfectionism.”
Trombonist and Conductor Dr. Per Brevig, joined us in the studio to talk about how his career evolved over time and how it lead him to conducting. He talks about how everything in his career has been progressive. We talk about; the diversity of his career, his interest in Jazz, Big Band and Contemporary Music, the importance of playing a broad choice repertoire, the shift in his career to conducting, his promotion of avant-garde music, how to be a good colleague, his conducting schedule and positions, programming choices, finding pleasure in various repertoire as a listener, what a soloist can expect when meeting with a conductor, his involvement as founder in the Grieg Society, and about his close work with the various composers including Carlos Chávez for the premier of the trombone concerto.