Archive for ‘Music Related’

April 1, 2011


Mitch from Small’s getting ready for the night with his violin.

April 1, 2011

Joseph Wiggan: A Classical Duet in Two Flats

My good friend Joseph Wiggan and I performed at Small’s Jazz Club in NYC together yesterday. Classical piano married tap dance for the night, and our performance brought something fresh, fun, and quite unusual to the table. It was definitely a daring experiment for both of us, but it was fun and worthwhile in many ways.

A big thank you to Small’s for welcoming us to perform our duet!

March 30, 2011

At The Atria

A shot I took of a fellow musician during our show at The Atria, a senior home in NYC.

January 18, 2011

A Smile Worth Sharing

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.

– Peyton Conway March

January 18, 2011

Midnight Contemplations of an Art Lover

We do what we love.  We do what we are.  It seems pretty simple.  But surrounding our intuitive and at times spontaneous actions as artists, we are all eventually forced to come face to face with perplexing questions.  Because our art matters so much to us, issues that surround it really matter to us too.  What are we aiming to create?  What are we contributing to?  What is the validity of our limitations?  Where does innovation lie in place of tradition and vice versa?  Who are we reaching out to?  Why does our art matter?  How can we sustain our various art forms?  …

Personally, I’m able to capture glimpses of answers to these questions in random moments, whether they come to me instantaneously or through years of steady reinforcement.  At the same time, I am also learning to be at ease with the fact that even an entire lifetime may not be enough to be able to answer some of these questions.

Whether we speak out into the world through spoken words, abstract sounds, movement through space, or shapes and colors, we are all creators and interpreters of imagination.  Collaborating with other artists beyond my particular discipline has made me realize the importance of being ambassadors in the arts — to different communities, in terms of geographical region, social division, and also artistic discipline.  I’ve been thinking about this more and more lately.  There is definitely more room for an increase of support and cross pollination between the different art forms.

Just some thoughts.  At the end of the day, though, I guess what really matters is that we still do what we do, and that we continue to celebrate our love for it.

December 11, 2010

The T.R.I.O. Project

We turn to the internet for information.
We turn to the internet for communication.
We turn to the internet for entertainment.
We turn to the internet for services.
We turn to the internet for business.
We turn to the internet for education.

In the past decade, technology has reshaped almost every aspect of our lives, personally, professionally, and educationally. The use of computers and the internet has improved daily activities, making life faster, more efficient, and more accessible. Fortunately, technology is becoming increasingly available to the global population. Recent statistics from the Internet Society shows that the number of internet users from the year 2000 to 2010 increased from 5.9% to 28.7%, which is equivalent to an increase of 1,443 million internet users within a decade. In addition, regular correspondence between distant countries and continents is one of the luxuries we can all benefit from the web.

With this arises an opportunity to use technology to benefit music students with otherwise little or no access to a quality education. Virtual communication, via video and audio communication applications, is becoming increasingly easy and accessible. With the use of online video communication applications, a new teaching outreach program, Teaching and Responding through Internet Outreach (T.R.I.O.), co-founded by Kathryn Peterson and Alice Hwang, is designed to provide lessons and guidance to aspiring young musicians from under-privileged or under-served regions of the world.

As students of The Juilliard School, access to many unique musical opportunities is fortunately at our disposal. Having each faced our own individual obstacles in the process of musical education, we have learned what is needed in order to realize musical potential: high-level instruction, exposure, and moral support. However, lessons with qualified teachers and music communities are often limited to select metropolitan cities and require substantial funding. With online video chatting as a portal, students with geographic or economic disadvantages can have the same opportunities as their peers through weekly one-hour sessions with mentors (who will be students of The Juilliard School). Though virtual contact between mentors and online students is very limiting, there is still a significant amount of communication, instruction, and learning that is possible. Leastwise, this project can provide under-served young musicians with exposure to and contact with accomplished musicians.

The broad nature of our proposed project poses certain difficulties in terms of finding appropriate students. Therefore, T.R.I.O. is at present forming an alliance with NEOJIBÀ, a Brazilian youth orchestra, while teaming up with “Musicians for Salvador” leader Annie Hart. The students of the orchestra are a fitting example of the type of students the T.R.I.O. project aims to attend to. They come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and are all passionately committed to playing classical music. Most notably, many of the basic necessities for these students are lacking, such as private lessons and role models. These students have aspirations for music careers, but do not have teachers. NEOJIBÀ has selected a limited number of students to participate in the T.R.I.O. project, who will be able to partake in weekly private and/or group lessons through online video communication.

The T.R.I.O. Project is a program designed to remedy the lack of musical education in rural areas via the Internet. T.R.I.O. is a non-profit organization currently fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. For more information on how to apply to the program or to contribute with a donation, please visit or e-mail

-Kathryn Peterson, Alice Hwang, and Annie Hart

December 5, 2010

Bridging Two Points

Just a month ago, I looked outside my window and noticed that the leaves were changing. Being caught up with daily this-and-thats ever since school resumed, I hadn’t had time to take a trip to Central Park much, and was late to notice the transition to autumn. At that moment, I was loving the beauty of the warmer colors emerging in the leaves of the trees… way more than I was loving the cooler temperatures outside.

Another month has passed, and I find myself surprised again at how much it has changed outside. But it’s still technically autumn, right? Winter’s not supposed to start until the 21st this year… Ok, so the winter solstice marks the beginning of this upcoming season, but is the beginning really that clear?

Thinking of classical music, the issues that come from categorizing the different eras raise similar questions. Naming and dating years in music history into the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern periods, etc… is convenient because the generalizations pointed out about each era are relatively consistent within the given time frames. However, it can keep our minds boxed into our definitions of each era. It’s also mildly surprising to remember that many of the great composers that represent each era were alive and composing at the same time during the beginnings and endings of each others’ lives. At least it is for me.

On another note, I only captured the appearance of a tiny portion of the whole city, and therefore am not representing a comprehensive view of everything. But then again, it might also be that (textbook) music history also reflects only a small portion of the composers and performers out there throughout the eras.

In any case, this tree looks beautiful in whatever time of year. So we’ll leave it at that.

November 30, 2010

The Great B’s

“The three greatest composers are Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. All the others are cretins.”

The very words of Hans von Bülow, the German conductor, pianist, and composer from the 19th century, and also a great supporter of Johannes Brahms. I would easily agree to the first part of his quote, but the main reason I’m bringing this up is that it fits perfectly with the program of my upcoming recital, with violinist Dima Dimitrova on December 10th. What’s on the program? Three sonatas: BACH’s Solo Violin Sonata in C Major, BEETHOVEN’s Piano Sonata Op. 101, and BRAHMS’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Minor. And interestingly enough, it is Bülow himself that Brahms dedicated his D Minor Sonata for Violin and Piano to. :)