May is here and I finished up my performance run at Carnegie Hall last night. I moved to New York City to perform in places like Carnegie Hall and have been preparing for this since I was four years old. I was so excited to make it to Carnegie Hall before I turn nine. I performed in the Weill Recital Hall as part of the American Protégé Piano & Strings Competition Winners’ Recital. My performance of Bach Violin Concerto in A Minor felt great and I was so happy at the reception seeing many of my family and friends who came to New York City to see me perform. Thank you everyone for your support.
I was very excited to perform today at my first Salon Concert in New York City. I was invited to perform at the Riverdale Choral Society's Spring 2017 Benefit Concert and had been preparing a piece I will be performing somewhere very special in May. It was a great experience performing for such a wonderful group of music lovers. Thank you everyone that came to the concert and I appreciated all your kind words and thank you Mrs. Nancy Wellman for arranging my first Salon Concert in New York City.
I have been taking in the all the great classical music in New York City and attending a number of great Salon Concerts on the Upper West Side. These have included the Grinberg Classical Salon Series and The Anne Ratner Concert Series. I was very honored to be the Angel Sponsor Recipient for the Anne Ratner Concert Series and have got to experience the music of, dine with and spend time with The Borromeo String Quartet and Philippe Bianconi because of ARCS’s Sponsorship. The Music has been great along with the conversation. Thank you ARCS.
New York City is a lot different than Miami Beach but so far I love it.
After returning from the Grand Teton Music Festival, I was lucky enough to be invited to be a part of the Kaufman Summer String Fest. It was a real honor to participate in their summer orchestra in my new city as an underage invite and the youngest member of the orchestra. We performed four pieces at the Merkin Concert Hall on the upper west side with members of the Grammy Award Winning Harlem Quartet. My favorite piece was Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor by Johannes Brahms.
Another great thing that has happened since arriving in New York City is meeting two great musicians, violinist Keiko Tokunaga and pianist Junko Ichikawa. It just happens that they both speak Japanese :)
I added part of my appearance on Tokyo Broadcasting System to my YouTube channel. Check it out. Happy New Year!
My transition to New York was bridged by my summer at Grand Tetons Music Festival. I was so lucky to get to get to spend most of my time with my mentor Robert Davidovici. I stayed at a great log cabin in the Rocky Mountains and spent my days working on different pieces, hanging around backstage at Walk Festival Hall and working with Mr. Davidovici. The air was so clean in the mountains and I would take breaks from playing my violin to listen to mountain meadow birds, amazing. I was very honored to get to meet with some big names in Classical Music including Joshua Bell, Nicola Benedetti, Johannes Moser and Maestro Donald Runnicles. The music was amazing I loved Saint-Saëns, Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor and have added it to my must play list.
Living in Miami Beach was great and I finished my stay there with two performances. One performance was at the Spring festival at Ichimura Miami Japanese Garden and one at a private event at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road where I played Allegro in G Major by J. H. Fiocco. I decided with my family this year to move to New York City to pursue my music education and career there. I will always love Miami Beach and consider it a second home but want to be closer to a real classical music hub.
The first time I met Master Luthier Nikolai Tambovsky I was so excited to see how and where a violin is made. I was switching to a 1/2 size instrument and had traveled to West Palm Beach to visit his workshop. Since that time I consider him my personal violin maker, I guess that is a little selfish :)
Mr. Tambovsky is an amazing violin Maker from Russia who spends a lot of time traveling to see his international clientele. I am so very lucky to know such an amazing Luthier. I am playing on three different instruments all made by Mr. Tambovsky.
This weekend I visited Mr. Tambovsky for an adjustment to my fullsize instrument and got to record a video for his website. Check the video out on his website.
Over the past several months I have been getting prepared for a television show I am going to be on that will air in March. The show will be on the Tokyo Broadcasting System and is part of a TBS 60th Anniversary special. Last week the Japanese TV crew arrived in Miami Beach and filmed me for four days.
The crew was so funny but having the camera on me all the time was tiring. Now that filming is over I am spending several days down in Key West. I owe a big Thank You to those that made this possible. The list is very long; Special Thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Kitada, Mr. Robert Davidiovici, Mr. Nikolai Tambovsky and the Japanese TV crew. I can't wait to see the show on TV.
The Holiday season has been great. My family had a family friend (and musician) visit from California who spent a lot of time coaching me with her flute. I went to a lot of Christmas parties and had some great food with great friends. I also got a lot of good practice in with Mr. Robert Davidovici, had an awesome Japanese New Years party with my family, and got the lucky king in the galette des rois.
I ended the Holiday season last night by Going back to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Knight Concert Hall). The last time I was there was in 2014. Following the advice of a violin guru I know; I set in the very top of the theatre. This was to get a feeling of how Mr. Gil Shaham projected his emotions through the violin even to the very back corners of such a large theatre.
Mr. Gil Shaham was great. He was so passionate. The program started with Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major (opus 35). I read a book about Tchaikovsky. Did you know he liked perfume?
Last night I went to an amazing venue in Coral Gables, across from the Biltmore Hotel. I got to see The Ehnes Quartet play Beethoven, and it was amazing; String Quartet No. 5 in A (opus 18 No. 5), String Quartet No. 11 in F (opus 95 "Serioso") and String Quartet No. 15 in A (opus 132), late into the hot humid night. I loved the Music, especially the the last measure of String Quartet No. 11 in F; Larghetto Espressivo; Allegretto Agitato.
At Intermission Mr. Robert Davidovici took me backstage and I was so lucky to meet Mr. James Ehnes, Amy Schwartz Moretti, Richard O'Neill and Robert DeMaine.
Thank you Mr. James Ehnes and the Ehnes Quartet for taking the time to meet with me. Thank you Mr. Robert Davidovici and Mr. Julian Kreeger.
Miami Beach is a lot hotter than up North, which I am still getting used to. Between seeing friends at the beach and practicing my violin with my favorite violinist, I got to attend a lot of the events that were part of the Miami Summer Music Festival this summer. This weekend I went to Cendrillon (by Jules Massenet, conductor: Grzegorz Nowak) and Don Giovanni (by W. A. Mozart), I loved them both. I love the atmosphere at big musical events, you don't see many people talking on cellphones, like you do on the street. Everyone is surrounded by music and the joy it brings.
I spent the last week in Sarasota Florida at a Flute Masterclass by Robert Aitken. Although I don't play the flute I am lucky because my mother does. Mr. Aitken was very nice and we got to chat a lot in French, although he speaks Canadian French and the dialect is a bit unusual for me, I loved it. I was especially excited to play my violin with Jesse Martins; an amazing pianist we met who is the Director of the Sarasota Youth Opera. Thank you Jesse for letting me play on the piano with you and also coaching me on my violin, that was one of the best parts of my trip. I hope I can make it back to Sarasota in the future to see the Youth Opera.
This Saturday I attended the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) rehearsal for part of their grand opening performance. I had a special invite by one of my very close friends (also a violinist). It was so much fun meeting the musicians and setting in the very front of the beautiful yet empty theatre. The rehearsal was at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Knight Concert Hall). I loved the Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68. The conductor is Eduardo Marturet. Thank you to all the musicians who allowed me to attend and eat donuts with you all :)