I have been a collaborative artist ever since my first public performance as pianist and cellist. Thriving on the interactivity of music as a living, breathing form of communication. Nurturing the talents of vocalists and drawing the best from orchestras. Partnering with stellar vocal talents, virtuoso instrumentalists, and charismatic tango musicians. In Berlin I am discovering visionary new collaborations close to home, and enjoying a growing number of exciting international engagements.
Music, whether improvised or read from the page, is a dynamic meeting ground between instrumentalists and vocalists who draw their energy from many sources - language, breath support, harmonic tension, or sheer personal sympathy for their characters. The conductor must channel energy from those who have it at a given moment to those who need it most, and to keep things in proportion so we hear everything in the score.
In one sense the force that unifies elements within the musical score, integrity is also the governing principle of healthy collaboration and a truthful artistic result. Doing the right thing, seeing the big picture. When casting an opera or building an ensemble I think carefully about the potential chemistry of the team I am creating as much as their individual talents. The greatest musicians with whom I have collaborated have also been the most sophisticated team players.
My favorite writer on music, the late Charles Rosen, described a style as “a mode of understanding.” I understand style as the aspect of music that allows musicians to “agree” on a shared language. The rhythms of a baroque or Latin dance, the colors of a bel canto line, the expectations of what harmony or effect is coming next, and the composer’s ability to satisfy or subvert those expectations. A physical, emotional, intellectual, and historical challenge, but no different than learning a new language.
Respecting the composer, the language, and my colleagues is something that grows naturally from observing the four principles above. I owe energy, integrity, and style to every collaboration, and always study until I am ready to put this combination into practice. It is my duty as an artist and as a human being. Musicians are uniquely equipped to be a positive example of respect and flexible leadership in the world, and it is humbling to continue the work of those who set this example for centuries. If you believe in and strive to embody these principles too, I would love to work with you.