Realizing a bigger picture

Thursday Jun 9th, 2016

Blog > Realizing a bigger picture

Of course I was elated. I was awarded an honorable mention and was given the opportunity to play a solo in a group curated by the Mikhail Baryshnikov (with the added bonus of escaping the monotony of school for a few days). However, I believed that my experience would entail no more than a performance and minimal interactions with other string players and my expectations were far from the experience that I have come to cherish.

When I arrived on Tuesday for the welcome reception and gathering, I was taken aback by the wide variety of art forms that others were involved in. Thrown into a sea of talent, I began to realize how much I had confined myself to a select group of close friends in both school and in Juilliard Pre-College. Throughout our rehearsals and performance at the Baryshnikov Art Center, our group built what I believe to be long-lasting friendships. As relative experts in our respective fields of performing arts, it was interesting to see how much we appreciated each other’s crafts. It was through this mutual sense of respect that our group’s synergy became so strong and why my experience was that much more unforgettable.

YoungArts New York (YANY) was indubitably a defining moment in my musical career and in my life. While the Juilliard Pre-College program provided me with beyond what was necessary for my classical training, it was difficult to interact with people outside of the realm of the orchestra as a cellist. The zeitgeist of the YANY period was defined by interdisciplinary studies, which were as eye-opening as they were engaging. Under the guidance of esteemed master artists, I was made aware of how infinitesimally small my view of music had been, and these artists allowed me to zoom out, so to speak, and realize a bigger picture. From improvisation with Mr. Eggar and Ms. Hughes to the adaptation of stories and paintings into music and dance with Ms. Murillo and Ms. Clyne, and from the idea of being able to sell oneself in the real musical world taught by Ms. Kalmanovitch and Mr. Roumain to using our bodies and even beatboxing with Baba, I was captivated by the idea of working with other types of artists and it is something that I would love to continue doing throughout my life. This idea was perpetuated through the admiration of visual art and watching each other’s performances, and although very different from the cello repertoire I was used to, there was an inherent connection that I felt because I saw the dedication of fellow young artists. I distinctly remember going to Sotheby’s and asking one artist about his work and he said that he toiled over the one masterpiece for 8 hours every day.

The network of such supportive and talented young artists was so invaluable to me and it is something that even Conrad Tao said that he envied us for in his guest keynote. And although we poked fun at the last girl who was interviewed in the video we watched before every performance, it is difficult to summarize my experience in any other way. It’s true, YoungArts changed my life.