Currently Living In: Somerville
Alma Maters: Andover High School ’09, Brandeis University ’13, Harvard Graduate School of Education ’14
Job: Marketing and development coordinator for A Far Cry, a Boston-based chamber orchestra
Favorite Food: Cheese
Favorite Music: The Beatles, folk music, Chris Thile, the Punch Brothers, Edgar Meyer, Goat Rodeo Sessions, and of course, classical music
Favorite Movie: “Notting Hill”
Favorite Books: “Catcher in the Rye,” the “Kite Runner” series, and right now I’m reading a lot of Margaret Atwood
Favorite TV Shows: “Friends,” “New Girl,” “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Firefly”
Favorite Travel Destinations: Barcelona, China
Somewhere You’d Like To Go Next: Portugal
Favorite North Shore Spot: Rockport, Salem, especially the Peabody Essex Museum – I like going there around the time of Halloween, but not on Halloween.
What was your Jewish background growing up?
My dad grew up Jewish and my mom grew up Christian, so to be honest they didn’t want to force any particular faith on me growing up so I didn’t go to any sort of religious schooling, but definitely have come to identify more with my Jewish faith, and we celebrate holidays with very important family friends every year – Passover and Hanukkah.
And I then went to Brandeis, which was a great way to explore that through friends and peers, and it was a wonderful place that was very accepting of all religions and everything, really, so that was a good place for me, so I had friends of all different backgrounds. I think personally it’s been more of a cultural influence and I’ve definitely come to identify with that more.
Can you talk about the role of music in your life?
I’ve been playing the cello since I was about nine, and both my parents were musicians, so that was always a huge influence. It’s the main part of my life that I spend a lot of my time doing and thinking about even though I’m not playing professionally, it’s been a huge way that I’ve connected to my family and social circles. I played in [what’s now called] the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras in high school and then I majored in music performance for the cello and anthropology at Brandeis, and sort of combined those two interests in my senior thesis, which was about El Sistema programs in the Boston area. El Sistema is the system of music education in Venezuela that had become really popular when I was in college. From there I went on to a master’s in arts education, and it was really that thesis that sparked my interest in music education, and that led me to my administrative roles. So I’ve sort of shifted around, but I’ve always continued to play.
I’m lucky to be in Boston where there are so many opportunities not just for professionals but amateur musicians. I’ve definitely done some quartets and things with friends just casually. I was playing with the Dudley House Orchestra, which is the Harvard Graduate Orchestra for many years. I played with the Boston Chamber Symphony, which is sort of a mix of local students and amateurs, and I play with the Me2/Orchestra right now, which is an orchestra with a mission to reduce stigma around mental illness through music.
Can you talk about your work with A Far Cry?
I do marketing, development, and box [office] for A Far Cry, which is a self-conducted chamber group. Our main series is in Jordan Hall [at the New England Conservatory], and then we have a local series at a church in Jamaica Plain, and we’ve also been the Ensemble in Residence for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for the last 10 years.
It’s a really interesting group that I’ve been a huge fan of for many years. Their whole mission is to operate as a democracy, so there’s no conductor, and there’s no musical leader – they all serve as a collective artistic directorship. So that means when they’re performing, they’re rotating positions of leadership, so the concertmaster is not the same from one program to the next, and everyone is rotating in different spots, so you’ll be in the back following, and then you’ll be leading multiple times even in one concert.
In terms of programming, they plan all their programming collectively as well, so it’s a really interesting process where each individual “Crier,” as they call each musician, can submit a program to the group and they have what they call the Vault, which is just a PowerPoint presentation with different programs, and they’ll go back to that vault and continually be submitting new programs to then decide what they want to put on as a group for a given season, and they have to vote, and there has to be a majority. The sorts of programming they do is very wide-ranging. It’s generally in the classical realm, but they’ve done things with folk rock singers, they’ve done things with dance troupes, and it ranges from very old music to very contemporary, so it’s really interesting.