I grew up in in Palo Alto when it was a sleepy university town. Could it have been fate that one of the premiere cello teachers, Irene Sharp, happened to be living in there? I had fallen in love with the sound of the cello when my father took me to the San Francisco Opera House at the age of of 8 to hear the beloved Rostropovich. The impression stayed and Irene took me under her intense tutelage and nurtured me into a cellist.
In those early years, I must also acknowledge the influence of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra conducted by William Whitson, where I was quickly absorbed into it's magical, creative world, playing principal and solos a good part of Junior high and High School. As well as the Tanglewood Young Artist program in the Berkshires, where I was transformed through exposure to serious music making during two summers between sophomore and senior years, also playing co/principal and solos. We were playing LPs in those years. I had Saint Saen's Cello Concerto with Jacqueline Du Pre and Mendelssohn's d min Trio with Leonard Rose. If it were possible to wear them out - that would have been the case here. I listened to those great artists over and over - absorbing their deeply expressive language.
I was accepted into the studio of the renowned Janos Starker at the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University where I had been recommended for a scholarship and received a Bachelor's in Cello Performance. The foundation I received at that top music school with world class instruction helped lead to a deep connection with my art.
During two summers, I was a scholarship student at the Banff Music Center in Canada, participating in the cello master classes and hiking in the magnificent Canadian Rockies. And for three summers, I was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival where I played with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra and hiked in the breath taking Colorado Rockies. While receiving a Masters in Cello Performance from the University of Illinois, I had both a teaching fellowship and a String Quartet fellowship, as well as a job as Assistant Principal with the Springfield Symphony. I then moved to New York City where my education continued the first year with weekly lessons with Aldo Parisot at Yale University on full scholarship, during which time I also attended his weekly master class.
I strongly believe recognizing the deep deep pathway into any art through focused and dedicated study, allows for an enhanced awareness for all of life.
photo credit Paolo Vescia