I will start out with the last two movements of Bach's solo Sonata No. 2 in A minor, which is the same work that Doug O'Connor will have ended his segment in the program with. It will be interesting for the audience to observe the similarities and differences brought to this single work through different instrumentation. Following the Bach will be "Songs My Mother Taught Me" by Antonin Dvorak, arranged by Fritz Kreisler. This is originally written for the voice and piano. . . . When I was told that the setting will be in a cafe with an upright piano, I immediately thought of Scott Joplin's "Ragtime Dance" that is arranged for the violin by my own teacher, Itzhak Perlman. I was first told to put a program together without any piano accompaniment, but I thought, with this piece, the audience would be provided the opportunity to enjoy music in a casual cafe atmosphere, without the formalities that come with going to a stereotypical classical music concert. Last but not least, I will be finishing with one of the most-beloved classical pieces, Zigeunerweisen by Pablo de Sarasate. The last piece in the concert will be a collaboration with piano, saxophone, and violin, the last two movements of a piece by Evan Chambers called Come Down Heavy.
Q. Have you played in this kind of venue before - a club rather than a concert hall?
A. The closest setting I have played to this kind of venue is in New York City, Le Poisson Rouge. Of course, I have played in house concerts, country clubs, or private clubs, but this would definitely be a first during brunch in Philadelphia.
Q. Are you still at Juilliard? With whom do you study?
A. I just graduated from the master's program at the Juilliard School, where I studied with Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein. Now I am teaching at CUNY Queens College.
Q. Can you tell me what you took away from your studies with Weilerstein and Perlman? Did each have a different area of concentration?
A. I've studied with Mr. Perlman since I was 14. . . . One of the most important lessons he has taught me is that music is not a kind of work or burden, but a way of life. He introduced me to paintings, food, literature . . . which was also all part of practice and nurturing towards my violin playing.
The biggest improvement through studying with Mr. Weilerstein was understanding my body and alignment, and how the violin rests as another portion of my body - a challenge at first because it could seem very abstract (for example, he would say to feel the vibration in the fingertips against the bowgrip), but once it clicks, it really changes everything completely.