I am the founding violist of PUBLIQuartet, which was string quartet in residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's “MetLiveArts” 2016/17 season. We've been presented by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, the Joyce Theater, National Sawdust, Dizzy's Coca Cola Club, and the Newport Jazz Festival. I've performed all over the world including in Berlin, Tokyo, Banff, and across the US. I've collaborated with Benjamin Millepied and the LA Dance Project, Björk, Paquito D’Rivera, Billy Childs, JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Jessie Montgomery, and tuba legend Bob Stewart.
As a composer my 2017 commission “In DayDream” for viola and guitar was premiered in Carnegie Hall on April 10, 2017. In addition, I self-produced, self-composed, and self-recorded a full-length album titled “Letters to My Future Self” of all original compositions, improvisations, and sound designs for viola to be released on Centaur Records in 2018. For three consecutive years I was commissioned to write pieces for mixed student ensembles at the Talent Education Suzuki School, one of which was premiered at the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the school at Norwalk City Hall for the Mayor of Norwalk and other public notables in the Spring of 2014.
As a teacher, I co-created the New York String Studio, located in Sunnyside, Queens with my wife and fellow violist Nora Krohn. NY String Studio teaching philosophy draws on methods of self-awareness practices, Suzuki Method, Alexander Technique, meditation, and Madeline Bruser’s "The Art of Practicing". I also founded the chamber music program at the Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk CT, where I have coached string quartets for 5 years. I aspire to offer my students high quality instrumental technique and a deeper understanding of mind and body, discipline, problem-solving, organization, time management, and self-expression.
Spreading "viola-vision" world-wide
What the heck is viola-vision? You'll have to listen to Endless Beautiful to find out. I was a featured guest on this wonderful interactive podcast centered around creating art while listening to soundscapes. Every episode contains a 15-minute soundscape created by the hosts. Listeners are encourage to draw, write, sculpt, or compose something in real time during the listening along with the hosts and guest. Listen to the episode and experience viola-vision for yourself through my on-the-spot creation here!
Letters to My Future Self
Original Sounds for violas
To be released on Centaur Records 2018. Stay tuned!
"Letters to My Future Self" will take you on a musical journey through the inside of my mind. This self-produced, self-composed, and self-recorded collection breaks preconceived notions of what a viola can do in a constantly-morphing soundscape of styles and genres. Some of the tracks are layered improvisations, while others are fully notated compositions (some of which I've also published). Aside from a few digital instruments, all of the sounds were created only with the viola, because let's be honest, everything sounds better on viola.
Notes on DotDash (2017) for string quartet: In early 2017 I had a strong emotional reaction to the Trump Administration's attempt to limit free press. I wanted to create a piece sprinkled with secret messages that could be decoded. Naturally, Morse Code came to mind, so I started transcribing all manner of words from Morse Code into rhythms. Embedded into the rhythm of the music are statements in Morse Code about Donald Trump. Here are the codes’ translations and timestamps:
0:00 ... --- ... SOS
1:49 .... . .-.. .--. HELP
2:29 .... . / .-- --- -. HE WON
3:26 .... . / .. ... HE IS
3:28 .... .- - . HATE
.-.. .. . ... LIES
... .. -.-. -.- SICK
. ...- .. .-.. EVIL
3:32 .... . / .. ... HE IS
3:34 --. .-. . . -.. -.-- GREEDY
-.-. --- .-- .- .-. -.. COWARD
-.-. --- .-. .-. ..- .--. - CORRUPT
.--. . .-. ...- . .-. - PERVERT
3:42 .... . / .. ... / ... .... .. - HE IS SHIT
8:03 .... --- .--. HOPE