With the RPO since: 1989
Hometown: Born in Bayonne, moved to East Brunswick, New Jersey, exit 9, when I was 6.
Who were your most inspirational teachers? Jerry Kupchynsky, my teacher through high school, and Samuel Applebaum at Manhattan School, plus many recordings and conductors over the years.
Favorite books/movies: The books I know are the ones that pressed themselves into me in high school and college – T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Millay, Rupert Brooke, Shakespeare, Hemingway, O'Hara, etc. The movies have mostly been shared with the kids – Bela Lugosi's Dracula, Star Wars, anything with Harrison Ford, especially The Last Crusade and Airport One, anything with Gary Oldman, several things with Sean Connery, most (Pirates!) with Johnny Depp! Plus It's a Beautiful Life. Without the kids I connected with Playing by Heart, Girl Interrupted, Il Postino, The Bicycle Thief, and Only You. My favorite movie of the last few years is Leon, the Professional, so watch out, bad guys!
What kinds of music do you enjoy listening to? Alejandro Sanz, Italian Opera, Fado, Greenday/Fallout Boy/Academy is/My Chem, earlier Ella Fitzgerald is a newfound beauty, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, waiting to start on Ariadne auf Naxos if I can get it hooked up to record onto the computer as I play it. Right now I'm happy with just Zerbinetta's aria.
What do you most enjoy about living in the Rochester area? My favorite thing about Rochester is the old buildings. Coming up here from New Orleans with the ambience of the Vieux Carré, I was surprised to see so many fascinating older office buildings, factories, and homes still standing and well maintained. Designed while Brahms was writing his Fourth Symphony or Dvorak his Cello Concerto, they give a glimpse into the era that produced those works.
What are your favorite restaurants in Rochester, and why? Right now they would be Flavors of Asia for the food and quiet intimate atmosphere, and maybe KJ's for takeout and Chipotle to go with Maestro Remmereit's "FRESH!"
The RPO is essential to the Rochester community because… it preserves the tradition of live classical music performance. As much as I love my records and CDs, a recording of Brahms First Symphony is like a picture of the Powers building. Why not go downtown and see the real thing in person? With the right lighting, it's magnificent!
What sports team(s) do you root for? The old NY Giants baseball team, before they moved to San Francisco