Monday, May 27, 2013

Juilliard Global in São Paulo

I spent the last ten days participating in the Juilliard Global and Santa Marcelina Cultura residency of teaching, coaching, and performing in São Paulo, Brazil. Santa Marcelina Cultura is the government-funded program which runs GURI and EMESP, which provide group lessons and orchestra for over 50,000 kids in Brazil. In addition to performing concerts and interactive performances, we also played in orchestra rehearsals, ran orchestra sectionals, and taught solo masterclasses. I always find any kind of educational performance and engagement incredibly rewarding, but being apart of something this special in a completely different country was amazing. The kids were all so enthusiastic, respectful, and very dedicated.

View from the hotel room: concrete and lush greens

Hanging meats at Sancho Tapas in Rua Augusta

Rehearsal! Note our creative hotel room set-up

Hanging lanterns, graffiti, and foliage at Exquisito 

On our way to perform at a CEU, the community centers

Up front and personal with the Queen of Samba at Ó do Borogodó

Rehearsal space for the GURI Orchestra

With Kimayr, who heard me perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, 6 years ago in São Paolo! 

Collage of photos from our Interactive Performances at the CEU community centers. Photo credit: Claire Bryant

News coverage of the residency

Aside from the enriching musical experience, I also had a fantastic time in São Paolo learning how to speak broken Portugeuse, eating cheese and bread at practically every meal (!), dancing to choros, drinking caipirinhas, and meeting wonderful people. Next, I'm off to Shelter Island for the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop. Please check my website events page soon for more information on concerts (I am performing with Mr. P this summer!).

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chicken Khao Soi Recipe

Evidently, spring time in New York means plenty of rainy, dreary days, perhaps purposefully placed to make New Yorkers insane with glee over a day with some sunshine. All of this rain has really upped my cravings for something warm and comforting. In an attempt to make a healthy and flavorful soup on a recently dismal day, I made Bon Appétit Magazine's recipe for Chicken Khao Soi and it was delicious. The earthiness of coriander, turmeric, and curry is balanced beautifully by the creaminess of the coconut milk broth and the brightness of the cilantro and lime.

I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand--I used fresh, poblano chiles instead of dried, New Mexico chiles, dark brown sugar instead of light, olive oil instead of vegetable, and Thai-style rice noodles instead of Chinese egg noodles.

Using the food processor really simplifies creating the Khao Soi Paste. The fragrance of the paste as it comes together is heavenly and the colors are incredibly vibrant. Just don't forget to secure the top of your food processor as I did--those spices leave quite the stain!

Chicken Khao Soi Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine
Makes About 6-8 Servings


Khao Soi Paste:
4 large dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded [I used fresh Poblanos]
2 medium shallots, halved
8 garlic cloves
1, 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder [I accidentally used 1 tablespoon, but the flavor was really incredible!]

2 tablespoons vegetable oil [I'm half Italian, so I used the olive oil that is permanently stocked in my pantry]
2, 14oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk [I use unsweetened coconut milk a lot, either in making coconut jasmine rice, in smoothies, or in baking]
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 pound Chinese egg noodles [I used Thai rice noodles]
3 tablespoons (or more to taste) fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar [I used dark because...well, why would you use light brown sugar? Dark tastes so much better]
Kosher salt [to be honest, I didn't use salt at all; the depth of flavor from the other spices was more than enough]
Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges for serving [I went with bean sprouts, cilantro, and chili oil]

To make the Khao Soi Paste, places chiles in a small, heatproof bowl, adding boiling water to cover, and let soak to soften for about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve the soaking liquid. Using a food processor, purée chiles with the shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and 2 tablespoons (or more, as needed) of the soaking liquid, until the consistency is smooth.

To make the soup, heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the khao soi paste and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, about 4-6 minutes. Add the coconut milk and broth and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate and shred with a fork.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions (for the rice noodles, this meant covering them with boiling water in a heatproof bowl for a few minutes and then draining). Add the chicken, fish sauce, and sugar to the soup and stir to combine. Divide the soup and noodles among bowls and serve with toppings (which are a must! the soup itself is incredibly rich and the brightness of the cilantro, lime juice, and chili oil is incredibly refreshing).


Until next time,

Monday, May 13, 2013

New YouTube Upload

While the title of this post is indeed true, the newest YouTube upload is not actually one of my performances. It is a live performance of my father performing the Korngold Violin Concerto with conductor James DePreist and the Philadelphia Orchestra in December of 1994. While I have numerous recordings of my father's performances with the orchestra (which occurred every other year for the duration of his 42 year tenure), this performance is undoubtedly one of my favorites. My father used to love watching old, black and white films with lush, hollywood soundtracks to match the old-school romantic love scenes. Korngold was actually a film composer and there are so many moments in his violin concerto which remind me of watching these movies with my Dad.

Alongside the recording is a slideshow of photos throughout my father's career, including pictures with artists such as Maurizio Pollini, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, Mstislav Rostropovich, Eugene Ormandy, Beverly Sills, Zubin Mehta, Sergio Peresson, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, and the members of the dePasquale String Quartet. Enjoy!

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mr. P-isms

As the school year comes to a close, I have been reflecting quite a bit on my first year of my Master's program at Juilliard. I have had so many incredible experiences, many of which occurred every week in my lessons with Mr. Perlman. Below are some of my favorite "Mr. P-isms" that I've collected throughout the last few months:

  • "Let's not associate tragedy with tempo" (on Shostakovich Violin Concerto no. 1 in A minor)
  • "Play from the gut, not from the brain"
  • "I hate air in the sound. It's like fizzy water instead of chocolate milk"
  • "I love first position. It's so safe. I probably use first position more than any other violinist I know. It's there, and it's in tune"
  • "You never want the sound to be the by-product of something. If you want the sound to be piano, create a piano sound. Don't lift the bow up and have the by-product be your piano sound"
  • "The vibrato should be like the sauce. I don't want to just taste sauce, I want it to be an integrated part of the dish"
  • "So many people practice carefully and not musically, and then wonder why it felt like they were playing the piece for the first time when they perform. Well, they did play the piece for the first time, in that way. When you try to do something [musically], it changes everything you're doing technically. So when you practice, as soon as you can play the notes, play the music!"

I'm also incredibly honored to announce that, starting in the Fall, I will serve as Mr. Perlman's teaching assistant as a Starling Fellow. I'm so thrilled to work with the amazing kids in the studio and learn even more from Mr. P. What a way to look forward to next school year!

Until next time,

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Pea Soup

Yesterday was the first Sunday I have had in awhile that wasn't completely non-stop (read: I only had one, 4 hour long rehearsal). Since I have been so busy  lately that the only opportunity to eat something usually means fare from the Gourmet Garage across the street from school, I jumped at the chance to finally make a home-cooked meal again.

One of my favorite blogs, mlovesmrecently posted a recipe for a seasonal, spring pea soup. It's simple, really tasty, and you get to use the blender, which let's face it, just makes everything a lot more fun. 

Spring Pea Soup, recipe from mlovesm blog

Makes about 6 servings 

2 medium shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium-sized boiling potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 pound frozen baby peas, thawed
1 tablespoon crème fraîche 

Cook shallots in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until shallots are softened. Add potato and salt, then simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add broth and thyme, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, covered, until potatoes are softened. Add peas and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Pureé in batches in a blender, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a few sprigs of thyme. 

Pictured with a semolina, golden raisin, and fennel twist from Amy's Bread in Hell's Kitchen--seriously delicious!

Until next time!