Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.
Where were you born? I was born in Fullerton, CA.
What’s your most treasured possession? A cello and a bow, not necessarily mine. Any would do.
What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? There are too many! For a nice dinner I love Amis. For a quick, casual lunch, I love Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House in Chinatown.
Tell us about your instrument? It was made in 2004 in Salt Lake City, UT, by Ryan Soltis.
What’s in your instrument case? Rosin, an extra mute, a picture of me and my parents in Santa Fe, NM, from 2003.
If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I would love to ask Robert Schumann many questions.
What piece of music never fails to move you? The late string quartets of Beethoven.
When did you join the Orchestra? In September 2016.
What books are on your nightstand? I love my Kindle. My favorite books I’ve read this year are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; Sticking it Out: From Juilliard to the Orchestra Pit, a Percussionist’s Memoir by Patti Niemi; My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante; and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
Do you speak any other languages? I speak Korean very poorly.
Do you have any hobbies? Golf, reading, eating out.
What’s the last recording you purchased? Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé. I’m so excited to perform this for the first time this season!
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? I don’t think this was my first time, but it’s my most memorable one. In May 2003 I attended one of Wolfgang Sawallisch’s last performances as music director. I was with my dad who flew in from CA to attend my graduation from Curtis. We got two seats together way up in the Third Tier behind the Orchestra, basically looking down at the tops of musicians’ heads. The Orchestra was performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Maestro Sawallisch had such an amazing presence over the Orchestra. Elegance, fieriness, determination, focus, power, his conducting was intense and moving. I will never forget that performance. Afterwards my dad and I looked at each other incredulously and we both breathlessly said, “Wow!”
Photo by J.J. Tiziou