Principal, The Hechinger Foundation Chair
National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Ball Concert: Christoph Eschenbach, conductor / Steven Reineke, conductor / Joshua Bell, violin / Kelli O'Hara, soprano
National Symphony Orchestra: Matthew Halls, conductor: Paul Jacobs, organ, plays Poulenc's Organ Concerto / Works by J.S. Bach & Mendelssohn
National Symphony Orchestra: David Zinman, conductor: Angela Hewitt, piano, plays Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 / Works by R. Strauss & Schoenberg
The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works by Debussy, Ives, Saint-Saëns, & Beethoven
I attended Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School.
Was it for music?
What is your favorite piece (or pieces) to play in the orchestra?
Gustav Mahler’s sixth symphony. The satisfaction of laying down a 5 foot hammer during a symphonic concert - a particularly fun part of being a percussionist!
Do you have a pre-concert ritual or routine?
I like to arrive early to make sure all of the percussion equipment and instruments are properly set up for the concert. A unique part to being principal percussionist is the responsibility of assigning the percussion parts and choreographing the percussion equipment and changes for the music.
Describe your favorite NSO moment:
The moment I won this job!
What are three songs or pieces you love to listen to?
In my playlist now: Tower of Power, Radiohead, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
Did you grow up in a musical household?
My parents are not professional musicians, but they both love music. My mother was a great singer and my father played the piano and guitar at home. There was an endless stream of music playing from Dad’s LP collection: jazz, classical, Beatles, you name it.
What did you want to be growing up?
I grew up working in the tech industry in high school and college.
When did you know you wanted to be a professional classical musician?
I found working with computers to be unfulfilling and, instead, decided to pursue a career of what I loved most.
What is your favorite thing about living in the DC area?
Living in such a culturally vibrant city! Wonderful people and food everywhere.
Where is your favorite DC hangout?
The many restaurants and bars in the 14th St Corridor or the music library at the Kennedy Center.
Do you have any pets?
Dexter, our Boston Terrier.
What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Cooking, traveling, and finding an excuse to spend time outdoors!
The Godfather 2.
The autobiography of Miles Davis.
Favorite sports team:
The Detroit Tigers!
Name one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I can cook a killer pizza.