The Facts: Born in Chicago, Illinois. Graduate of DePaul University. Prior to the Philharmonic: bass clarinet / utility clarinet of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, substitute with the New York Philharmonic, and member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. At the Philharmonic: Joined June 2016.
What was the first piece of music you fell in love with? My mom had a tape in the car that I wanted to hear over and over, with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic playing Rimsky- Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnole and Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio italien. It was so exciting.
Why did you choose the clarinet? My brothers both played saxophone and they convinced me I would go on cool band trips, so when I was ten I picked the “sister” instrument.
What do you love about the bass clarinet? I love the sound and timbre of the bass clarinet and of low-sounding instruments in general. Composers often use the bass clarinet for very special moments in their music, like the first movement of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.
When did you know that you wanted to be a professional musician? I was in the Chicago Youth Orchestra in high school and remember that wonderful feeling of playing beautiful music as part of a team. I was hooked.
Other than practicing, what activities did you do in high school? I was in show choir, which involved dancing and singing.
Most inspiring composers? Mahler, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev all wrote beautifully for my instrument.
What are you looking forward to in the Philharmonic’s 2018–19 season? A number of major works that have big bass clarinet parts, like Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, Leningrad
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? As musicians often have to move to go where the work is, I was told to “bloom where you are planted.”
What do you do in your free time? I love to do yoga, read, and watch my fiveyear- old daughter discover the world.
What are you reading right now? Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesia by Henry Jay Przybylo, a pediatric anesthesiologist — I heard his compelling interview on NPR’s Fresh Air.
What’s one thing about you that may surprise people to learn? I recently started Tae Kwon Do again after earning a purple belt in college. But I’m careful with my hands!
As of April 2018