I Love Music Majors

Sep 2


In Performance: Conrad Tao

Conrad Tao, a pianist and a composer, has been on a roll. Last year he produced a new music festival in New York, released his first major-label album, and wrote a piece for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This year he will be the artist-in-residence in Dallas, play concerts around the country and the world, and open the New York Youth Symphony’s season Nov. 23 at Carnegie Hall. And he’s only 20.

Here he is playing the impassioned final movement of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7. “It’s kinetic and scary and exciting,’’ he said just before sitting down at the piano, “but also, I think, extremely harmonically rich.”

Sep 1

Brannon Cho (1994) is a cellist from New Jersey. He is currently attending Northwestern University under the guidance of Hans Jørgen Jensen.

Recently he has been spending summers at the Meadowmount School of Music and the Heifetz Music Institute.

He won First Prize at the Lennox International Competition in 2011, Grand Prize at the 2010 ASTA National Solo Competition, First Prize at the 2012 Johansen International Competition, the Silver Medal and Audience Award at the 2012 Stulberg International Competition, the Silver Medal at the 2013 National Young Arts Festival, and 3rd place at the Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition.

(click links in description to view his performances)

Aug 25

Keith Dyrda is a young trombonist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He completed undergraduate studies at McGill University in 2011 and a masters in trombone performance at Northwestern University in 2013 with the legendary CSO trombonist, Michael Mulcahy.

Here is a great video of Keith explaining his life and the trombone. (a little dated though but still a great explanation of his studies!)

In 2010, Keith joined the Canadian Brass, replacing founding member Gene Watts. Keith spent one year touring the world over with the ensemble, during which they recorded the album “Brahms on Brass”, nominated for a 2012 Juno Award.

He is also a member of the All Star Brass, an ensemble that meets once every summer at the Banff Centre for the Arts to record an album and perform a live concert. The other members are trumpeters Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony and Mark Gould, hornist Martin Hackleman, tubist Patrick Sheridan, and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. The recordings are annually produced by Sam Pilafian.

The last photo is with Mitchell Nissen a bass trombonist (another cutie) from Australia. He is currently attending Northwestern University for his masters (intending on completing in 2015). The photo is from the Summer 2014 when they both attended Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

May 15

Peter Eom is a cellist from Arizona. He made his solo debut at the age of ten. He was a finalist in the YoungArts program in 2013. He now attends Harvard University studying music, physics, and creative writing. 

Peter is the founder of Melodic Minors, an outreach organization that plays benefit concerts in Arizona. Promoting everything from building of a cancer research center to helping a local family in need, Melodic Minors brings happiness to Haiti earthquake victims and nursing homes alike.

Check out his tumblrs!

Watch him play the very virtuosic Kodaly sonata here.

Also watch him play and talk with another young musician and YoungArts winner featured on I love music majors, Andrea Jarrett here.

Apr 30

Andrea Jarrett is a violinist who completed her undergraduate work at the Juilliard School. She is now a graduate student at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. 

During her summers she has attended Taos School of Music, Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival, Astona International Summer Music Academy, Aspen Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, and Interlochen Arts Camp.

Andrea was a member of the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009.

She recently performed with cellist Peter Eom at the opening concert of Yellow Lounge Miami, a concert series which began in Europe and is designed to promote classical music in younger generations. They gave the world premiere of Pittsburgh-native composer Tommy Dougherty’s duo for violin and cello, entitled “A Little Night Club Music.” As their website says, “Yellow Lounge fuses the greatest international performers with cutting-edge DJ and VJ sets in urban spaces.”

Apr 29

Nathan Chan is a cellist from San Francisco! He is currently studying Economics at Columbia University and Cello at Juilliard in their joint program. 

Watch him play The Swan when he was 11 years old in an HBO documentary called “The Music in Me” 

Here is his YouTube channel.

Can he please serenade me with his cello?!?!

Apr 28

Alex Beyer (b. 1994) is a “sensation” with “formidable technique” who plays the piano. He attended Juilliard Pre-College and is now pursuing dual-degrees at New England Conservatory and Harvard University. He was a finalist in the YoungArts program in 2012 and was then selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Find him on Youtube playing Rachmaninoff and all 24 Chopin Preludes. He is one fine pianist.

Apr 27

Conrad Tao (b. 1994) is such a cutie. He is a composer, violinist, and pianist. He tours and performs around the US and abroad to perform while also attending the Columbia-Juilliard joint program. 

Tao has long studied piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Choong Mo Kang at Juilliard and composition with Christopher Theofanidis of Yale University, and for five years he studied violin with Catherine Cho at Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. He also studied for six summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 2004 to 2009, mostly playing violin, and although “he has moved his focus away from violin, Tao considers his [summers] as a member of the [Aspen] violin section critical to his success as a piano soloist. … ‘I’ve gained an understanding of the dynamic between orchestra and soloist’.”

You can listen to him on his solo piano album, The Juilliard Sessions: Conrad Tao Plays Debussy and Stravinsky, and a synthpop album, Eyelids.

Can I play one of your pieces? or maybe we can play a duet?