Future episodes include Emanuel Ax, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joyce di Donato, Matthias Pintscher, Marc-André Hamelin, the Artemis String Quartet, Claire Chase, Seymour Bernstein, Alex Klein, Gary Graffman, and many more exciting guests -- stay tuned!
“I felt my life was over.”
In an intensely personal conversation, Grammy-winning oboist Alex Klein traces the ups and downs of a most unusual career, from a childhood with attention deficit and learning to play without an instrument, to becoming the Principal Oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In a first for the show, the symptoms of musician’s dystonia are demonstrated visually and through an emotional account of how to live with a crippling condition. Full of anecdotes, musical and artistic concepts, and confessions, this episode is sure to have viewers talking.
“It's impossible to be loved by everybody.”
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein shares personal stories from her childhood, when her first cello was a cereal box with a chopstick for a bow. She discusses the pressures of the music industry, and how to cope psychologically with the stage, sharing that most of her pressures are self-imposed. She discusses the nature of criticism, whether from one's self or others, her strategies in the recording studio and the practice room, and how to set limits in a musical world of high demands. (Episode 49)
“Are you feeling emotion, or are you just showing it?”
A renowned composer whose music is performed throughout the world, Bruce Adolphe isn't just the author of several books on music, an innovative educator, and a versatile performer. He's also resident lecturer and director of family concerts for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; composer-in-residence at the Brain and Creativity Institute; founding creative director of The Learning Maestros; artistic director of Off the Hook Arts; and host of The Piano Puzzler on NPR's Performance Today. (Episode 48)
“Play in such a way as to make everybody around you better.”
Conductor Roger Nierenberg discusses his Music Paradigm, in which he seats business executives within orchestras to demonstrate engaging and humorous lessons in leadership through a love of music. Full of anecdotes about Leonard Bernstein and Carlos Kleiber and the complex character of conductors, this episode is surprising in its highlight of the transformative power of music. (Episode 47)
“My career was mostly motivated by fear.”
Susan Graham joins us for a candid look at her life and storied career, and shares her insights into the world of the singer. She describes her "Leave it to Beaver" upbringing in Texas and how she made the shift from Broadway tunes to the world of opera. With humorous anecdotes, she gives insights into her relationship with her audiences, the music she sings, and how she could have never foreseen the success she later found. (Episode 46)
“I knew a teacher who for the last 20 years watched TV while teaching lessons.”
Dmitri Levkovich, who won top prizes in nearly 20 competitions around the world, discusses creative processes and daily practice, the benefits of competitions, the self-teaching artists do in solitude, recollections of his teacher Sergei Babayan and the development of technique, and how he overcame four years of tendinitis. (Episode 45)
“I truly believe that art gives us the gift of empathy.”
Jennifer Koh made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11, and has since been heard with leading orchestras around the world. She is Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Ms. Koh is also the Artistic Director of arco collaborative, an artist-driven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through a musical dialogue inspired by ideas and the communities around us. (Episode 44)
“Perfection is deeply boring.”
Nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and praised by the New York Times for his “utterly riveting performances,” Anthony Roth Costanzo is quickly rising to international stature as he performs with the world’s great orchestras and opera houses. In a surprisingly lighthearted conversation about the world of countertenors, Anthony describes how he stumbled into singing and acting, what is unusual and powerful about falsetto singing, and what it feels like to be naked on stage, literally and figuratively. (Episode 43)
“Performing is like a drug.”
As an International Steinway Artist, Fulbright Scholar, and recipient of the Stipendium der deutschen Wirtschaft, Caroline Oltmanns is Professor of Piano at Youngstown State University and holds degrees from the Staatliche Musikhochschule Freiburg and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Caroline Oltmanns has recorded six solo albums on the Filia Mundi label. Her playing has been broadcast globally on radio and television. This season, Oltmanns released her new concept album, Ghosts. Past seasons have included concert tours to Switzerland, Germany, South Africa, and China where she performed for sold-out houses. (Episode 42)
“I try to not wait until I am too comfortable.”
Cellist Astrid Schween is the newest member of the Juilliard Quartet and a new member of the Juilliard School faculty. An active juror and panelist, she was recently featured in Strings and Strad magazines and on NPR, and was an invited speaker at the Library of Congress on the role of women in music. In our exclusive interview, she discusses the learning she experienced after she left school, cultivating an individual voice, finding joy and ease on stage, recollections of Mstislav Rostropovich and Jacqueline du Pré, and many other fascinating topics. (Episode 41)