Friday, May 16, 2014

Wrapping Up

2014 Juilliard Gala: Till Eulenspiegal with conductor Alan Gilbert
Photo Credit: © Nan Melville 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of wrapping up the semester and my time at Juilliard. I performed as Concertmaster for my last Juilliard Orchestra concert, pictured above with Alan Gilbert for the Juilliard Gala. My graduation jury, final projects, papers, and exams, and my graduation recital promptly ensued.

Graduation Recital in Morse Hall
Photo Credit: Sayo Kosugi
With Ms. Cho and Mr. Perlman
Photo Credit: Sayo Kosugi

Immediately after my recital, I had the incredible experience of substituting with The Philadelphia Orchestra for their SingIN performance of Handel's Water Music and Messiah. The orchestra's PlayIN events allow anyone to attend and perform with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra; for this concert, there were about 1,400 people singing along for the Messiah! It was amazing to hear so many voices sing the Hallelujah chorus, which was incredibly powerful. It was surreal going to work with my mom and performing with orchestra members I have known my whole life, including my former teacher, Hirono Oka.

The Philadelphia Orchestra SingIN
Photo credit: © The Philadelphia Orchestra
With my cousin, Ellen (who also subbed) and my mother, Gloria

It's certainly been an amazing few weeks. I'm looking forward to having some time during the next few days to reflect upon and celebrate my graduation from Juilliard!

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts

Photo by Alexandra DeFurio

I am incredibly stunned and honored to be awarded a two-year career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts, which seeks to make "focused and substantial investments in a limited number of exceptionally talented young dancers, musicians, actors and visual artists as they complete their training and begin their professional life." I was nominated for the grant by the Perlman Music Program, which is one of the arts organizations the Fellowship Fund partners with. My award, which includes $50,000 a year for two years, will go towards the recording and production of a debut CD (including a newly commissioned work by an American composer), the development of educational outreach programs with a psychologist, and a recital tour of the recorded repertoire throughout the United States, implementing the educational outreach programs along the way. 

I never would have thought these artistic ventures to be possible at this point in my career and I am so grateful to receive an award that allows me to focus on my artistic development in such a special way. I'm so grateful to the Perlman Music Program for the nomination, as well as to the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for choosing me as one of its recipients. 

For press coverage, check out the New York Times announcement, as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer piece and the Philadelphia Daily News feature.

On a personal note, the news was publicly announced today, the anniversary of my Father's passing. I'm so grateful for the love and support my Father gave me; he believed in me before I knew how to believe in myself, and I think that, wherever he is, he must be beaming with joy.

Until next time,

Friday, February 28, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chive Oil and Pumpernickel Croutons

February has been overwhelming, to say the least. There is something about this month which always seems to necessitate a particular mix of excitement, stress, lack of sleep, and the all-too-familiar "when will winter actually end?!" feeling. This February has been no exception; there have been many, incredibly wonderful things which occurred during these past few weeks (certainly the MusicalAmerica New Artist of the Month feature and my piano trio's performance at the Kennedy Center). There has also been just enough craziness that, during a few days of reassessing and really taking stock of things, I desperately needed to turn to my usual, preferred method of attempting to achieve personal balance: cooking. Not exactly revolutionary, I know, but when I haven't had any time for it lately, it sure feels like it.

In an effort to not just cook, but to make something new (chive oil) and comforting (a warm soup and anything roasted, really), I perused Bon Appétit's recent recipes and stumbled upon this one. My apartment smells lovely, I consumed one of the first homemade meals I've had time for in weeks, and I definitely feel my sense of self reviving.

Bon Appétit's Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chive Oil and Pumpernickel Croutons
*The recipe also gives the option for rye crostini, if that resonates with you

1 coffee filter
2 1 oz. bunches of chives
2 springs rosemary
Olive Oil (enough for 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon)
4 slices of pumpernickel for the croutons, or 8 slices of rye for crostini, sliced respectively
1 large head of cauliflower, leaves discarded
12 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large onion, minced

Blanch chives for 10 seconds in a pot of boiling, salted water. Squeeze dry and roughly chop before combining in a blender with 3/4 cup olive oil; purée until smooth. Pour chive oil into a coffee filter over a glass and allow oil to drip through for three hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Slice preferred bread into croutons or crostini. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil and rosemary sprigs, then lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until crispy. Remove and cool.

With the oven turned down to 350, rub cauliflower with 4 tablespoons of butter and salt generously. Place in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water and tent with foil if cauliflower begins to brown. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until a knife meets no resistance at the core. Remove cauliflower and cool before giving it a rough chop. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium low and sauté minced onion for about 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add chopped cauliflower and add 4 cups of water, lightly simmering for 10 minutes until cauliflower is soft. Purée in batches in the blender until smooth. Return to pot and bring to a simmer, adding more water if consistency is too thick. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and heavy cream, adding salt to taste. Top with croutons or crostini and drizzle chive oil.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

MusicalAmerica New Artist of the Month

Photo by Alexandra DeFurio

After the all-Shostakovich Juilliard Orchestra performance with Vladimir Jurowski last November, Sedgwick Clark from MusicalAmerica contacted Juilliard about setting up an interview for the New Artist of the Month feature for emerging talent in the industry. We had a wonderful time discussing the current state of the classical music industry for young professionals, the importance of educational outreach and community engagement, my family background, and our shared love of the golden age violinists and 1930s films! Read the full article here, or visit to check it out.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Paris SYLFF Chamber Music Exchange

View from the Parc de Buttes Chaumont

I just returned from Paris, France, where I participated in a chamber music exchange between Juilliard, the Conservatoire National Supérior de Musique, and the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien. The exchange is sponsored by the Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund and each year one of the three schools hosts its participants. It was my first time in Paris, so naturally I fell in love with the incredible beauty of the city and its amazing food!

Inside the Cathédrale Notre Dame
The Thinker, Musée Rodin
Musée d'Orsay
Inside the Louvre
A rainy evening stroll through the grounds of the Louvre with the other students
from Juilliard
With Katy, my friend and Colburn roommate, who came to visit me on my birthday
from Lyon, where she is completing her studies as a Fulbright recipient
Théâtre des Champs Elysées for a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic
(what a string sound!)
Tarte au Citron from one of the many neighborhood pâtisseries
Macarons from the legendary Pierre Hermé
Our concert poster
Le Grand Salon in Musée de l'Armée at Invalides, pre-performance
View of the city center from our dressing room

I was incredibly fortunate to study and perform two beautiful works: Ravel Introduction and Allegro, as well as Jolivet Chant de Linos. I performed with students from Paris and Vienna, as well as our coach, cellist and CNSM faculty member Diana Ligeti. As a musician, we speak about the "French sound" and style, and for me it was extraordinary and something completely different to approach this after experiencing the architecture, artwork, food, and culture. It was also wonderful to get to know students of varying backgrounds, as well as get to know my fellow Juilliard students (stumbling over a foreign language together is quite the bonding experience!).

I'm very grateful for the dose of Parisian refreshment and inspiration upon returning to New York for my final semester as a Master of Music student (when did that happen?!). There are some exciting performances and experiences coming up, and I look forward to sharing them soon!

Until next time,