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A year of study - berlin

After taking online conducting lessons with the legendary Maestro Neeme Järvi for two years in the early days of the pandemic, I had the incredible opportunity to spend one year (2021-2022) in Europe to pursue advanced conducting studies thanks to a generous private grant. I chose that most international, artistic, music-filled of cities, Berlin, as my home base. Starting with the esteemed Pärnu Music Festival led by one of my future mentors, the incredible conductor Paavo Järvi, I observed rehearsals of the Estonian Festival Orchestra, La Scala Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Tonhaller-Orchester Zürich, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and others, led by the greatest conductors of these times - Franz-Welser Möst, Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski, Daniel Harding, Jakub Hrůša, Sir Donald Runnicles, Robin Ticciatti, Alan Gilbert and Pablo Heras-Casado,  . In addition I attended concerts of these ensembles as well as the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Deutches Symphonie-Orchestra Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Deutsch Oper Berlin, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, as well as soloists including Yuja Wang, Igor Levit, Daniel Trifonov, Gil Shaham, Isabelle Faust, Vilde Frang, Leonidas Kavakos, Kian Soltani, and Kayhan Kalhor. The fine concert spaces in Berlin alone - Philharmonie Berlin, Pierre Boulez Saal, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Deutsch Oper Berlin, and others - provided a wealth of opportunities to hear the greatest music with the greatest performers. Berlin was the perfect choice.

I also participated in international conducting workshops, working the Lviv National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Sinfonietta and Leipzig Symphony Orchestra. Carl St. Clair, Mark Laycock and Michel Tabachnik served as my mentors during these weeks, giving many insights into artistic expression, baton technique, the psychology of the orchestra, repertoire selection, and countless other facets of the podium.

 

Through this multitude of experiences, and simply by virtue of living in Europe, I absorbed many stylistic, artistic and cultural aspects of music-making in the European tradition. Connecting with former classmates and new colleagues in these extraordinary ensembles was yet another highlight, as these interactions gave me personal insights into the minds of the players themselves.

I am eternally grateful for this incredible and unique opportunity and enjoy sharing these experiences with my students, friends and colleagues back in Southern California.

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