THE FACTS: Born in Syosset, New York; precollege and college, The Juilliard School. Prior to the Philharmonic: founding member of new-music ensemble Speculum Musicae. At the Philharmonic: Joined April 1984. Solo debut with the Orchestra in March 1977, playing the mandolin in David Del Tredici’s Final Alice, led by Erich Leinsdorf.
WHO WERE YOUR MOST INSPIRING MUSICAL INFLUENCES? For my approach to bow technique and discipline, Ivan Galamian; for artistic integrity and dedication to excellence, Jascha Heifetz. I began the violin at five. I studied with Margaret Pardee and Ivan Galamian and got a scholarship to Juilliard’s pre-college and college divisions. I spent my summers at Galamian’s Meadowmount School of Music from age 8 to 16. My fellow students included Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Kyung- Wa Chung, and Michael Rabin.
WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY? David Oistrakh playing Tartini’s Devil’s Trill at Carnegie Hall. I was about nine. It was one of the most astonishing performances I’ve ever heard. The first piece I fell in love with was Chausson’s Poème.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT PLAYING WITH AN ORCHESTRA? I was brought up to think that a solo career was the only possible choice. I’m happy that things turned out differently. I have developed a great appreciation for the vastly richer repertoire not afforded the exclusively solo player.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUSICIAN? Being able to connect with human beings on the most fundamental level, one that bypasses the inhibitions of the conscious mind
WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF NOT A MUSICIAN? An engineer — anything mathematical or scientific. I love physics, cosmology, mathematics, and technology.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH THE PHILHARMONIC: Playing the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein, and working with Lorin Maazel, a very satisfying work environment
MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Brahms and Bach … not necessarily in that order
DO YOU PLAY IN OTHER GROUPS? Chamber music is most dear to my heart, especially the string quartet
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sci-fi audiobook The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Spend time with my wife and daughter, and work in my home production studio
As of June 2016