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At Your Library: Duo Amie

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our winter concerts at the crane
continue on Sunday March 8th at 3 o’clock would do a me who I had the
pleasure of speaking with today thanks so much for joining me today
Julie Alisa sits so glad to have you here yeah we’re very happy to be here
I’m really excited you’re playing our second concert of the season which is
always a treat you know we often get a great critical mass by the center second
concert and it’s we a lot of fun have you either either of you been to our
concerts here before I you have I have not your first time
that’s always a good crowd like it’s always like the cursing was very good
and I just like always good musicians here I’m so excited that we have the
honor of having you I don’t know even speak yes yeah we’ve never had a piano
for thumbs or our first our first season with a piano I think that’s a huge bonus
because it’s gonna really open up the array of artists that you can have here
and it’s just such a beautiful space we’re really excited so I’m super
pleased and I know you’ve know a lot of people you’ve actually helped to
introduce me to some of the other piano players in the community which I’m
really appreciative for it thank you you’re welcome
so but we’re not here to talk about anybody except for the table you which
is an obvious just such a great talent and such a treat for us to have you’re
both very professional women who have done I know that you both have advanced
degrees in other fields beyond music and you’re also very advanced you’ve both
toured around the world with music as well so let’s help people get to know
you a little bit how did you first get introduced to music I believe you
started when you were nine years old you yes yes so my mother loved the cello and
I quickly followed suit and just took off like gangbusters and was very lucky
to be able to play there’s an amazing cello teacher named Otto Parra so who
was at Yale School of Music and so I was able to get into his studio and then
just went on from there and they went to Curtis it’s two to music and study with
David Sawyer of the coronaries room quartets and did a ton of playing yeah
you know around mostly actually in in the United States but also Europe and
South America and that’s you know general my musical
background solo and group work yes a lot more solo and chair music and then some
orchestral music that’s great Alissa’s when did you get introduced
when did you start playing to Brianna’s this is all my mother is really on my
mother’s memory because I don’t really remember
I only remember when I was I think it was in my kindergarten of my maybe
crisco pretty school when I came home I found a toy piano it’s like this small
and then I remember my mother was changing me and I was playing so but
that’s all the memory that I have from I can’t even remember father – so my
mother you know it’s thought maybe you know like you know I was interested in
it you know if she said I was able to repeat the tune that I learned from
school on the piano on my own so that must be when I was 3 or 4 years ago so
she thought ok maybe she has some potential Italian sense yes obviously
yes so that’s how I started as I started so I’m fascinated you both studied music
obviously and that’s how you’ve had all so many opportunities but then you also
found that you were attracted to other disciplines how did you balance in in
school and and and and how do you continue in life to balance your the
professional interests and these you know intellectual pursuits because
you’re both not just doing you know you don’t have menial you know you’re not
doing I don’t mean Eli mean a manual work that you ran you’re doing both
intellectual work how do you balance the the demands of that and what it takes to
actually do the practice and and the mental framework to to approach the
music so I I had a library library degree after I finished my music
training there was all because of a opportunity and I was able to work at
the Music Library where I went to school and I fell in love with it yes so it was
really it started as a part-time job but then I you know it opens door you know
world to me to the library science and the information and then I started to
look into the field and I realized that is actually another
way of connecting you know with different people so so that’s how I you
know started you know I went to where I went to library school in Boston after I
finished my training upstate New York that’s how you know that’s how it yes
yes and Julie help are you so my I had going growing up I had always been very
academically focused as well as musically focused and then going Curtis
was phenomenal you know basically and it was almost for me it became almost too
much of a good thing and I suffered as a conservatory so it’s it’s so I became I
I missed that aspect of my life that I had been in in high pursuit oh yeah
before that so I decided and then also I had actually sustained a significant
injury to one of my arms during my third year there and that really threw me for
a loop and I thought wow you know this is so science yeah on my you know
physical as well as you know mental abilities as a musician and so all of
those things led me to explore something different than I had always been in
particular biology focused and I decided to do an MD PhD where you can actually
become a physician scientist and and the so I you know that took eight years to
do my MD PhD and then I did a residency and a fellowship but even the realness
yeah so and and now I’m a practicing a tomato pathologist which is a
pathologist as top specializes in the diagnosis of skin diseases and but that
but I think the and this is something that I like to speak on particularly to
children and if college-age students which is that and I think at least is
probably feels the same way too that when you focus intensively when you’re
young and build a technique of significant strength that sustains you
through branching out in other areas and so for me it’s kind of become you mister
my views and in medicine its music you know kind of sustains me through
even-even issues a burnout you know which I’m sure you agree a lot about
these days and because I had such a high level I have been able to continue it by
just keeping my playing up you know life goes in stages and so now I’m able
to balance you know my my work which is extremely important but also my music
which is vital to to me as well and to my well-being and something I’d love to
share both with playing with someone who who is just a wonderful friend and we
have a great synergy together and also for the you know for the community so
but I think if I hadn’t put that devotion and dedication and gone to such
a school you know prior to them going on and doing my my medical studies I
wouldn’t be able to do this you know we’ll be able to sustain both because
you know you can ask how do i sustain both it and it you know it isn’t easy
but I think without it I would be in my chatter yeah yeah right it’s still a
daily challenge yes yeah you know and I got you know like sometimes I get up at
you know 5:00 in the morning and put a practice read on and practice before I
go in or I get the key practice notes or chill yes and then I that I is that
we’re just editing the strings on the bridge yeah or you know I get the kids
out the door and then I practice you’re wrong and then or you know that I could
have work and then I come home and do all that and then I practice some more
so you know when it was she when we weren’t really gearing up and so I have
a very or in trouble and also it’s a good name yeah there’s so many things
there that I want to explore but I have fear that we’re gonna run out of time I
mean I’m sure that a lot of this resonates with what your teacher
students as well more successful students are those that are are
achieving in other avenues as well yes the discipline that’s required to
practice and to just be focused in my studies they’re translate to success in
whatever feels right correct I’m curious he’s being touched I talked
about burnout and I know that in this performance you’re gonna be playing
Beethoven and Schubert which are very popular composers that I’m sure you’ve
both played in many times how do you keep excited about these composers that
you keep coming back to well I’m really glad you asked that particular question
because one of the things that we have it’s kind of our thing I guess is that
we really really enjoy creating themed programs and so it’s not just we decide
on pieces when we want to play and then how do they all fit together what brings
them together and we like to create thematic visual elements – and anecdotes
and and stories so this one that we’re going to be presenting in less than two
weeks now it’s called its Viennese tales and baked overture and the art of
musical storytelling so the idea is that Beethoven actually said that for every
single piece that he composed there was always either an image or a story behind
it and he was adamant about that that in his mind that night is for the that
creation was an actual story or or image and that really resonated with us and so
what we did in this concert was we try to both approach the piece that we were
going to play in in that way by thinking but by learning actually about specific
stories behind their creation and also choosing some art you know for that it’s
kind of exemplify the pieces and then in terms of how we interpret you know that
that is a story in and of itself which we’re also going to talk about a little
bit when we perform but every time it’s a little bit different great day yeah
for my because as a pianist we don’t get to bring our instruments around right
which is you know unfortunate and also it’s also exciting because you just
don’t know what what piano you’re going to be playing and then that kusik you
know in in the different places and then the audience the size of the audience
that the audience responds so what happened earlier
exactly reading in there right that’s why you know we find is very very
enjoyable because every time we play the program it feels different
yeah it does and we and we have and this is really in its true it’s it’s it’s
like a when you meet that special friend or person who you can communicate with
in a way that is you know I can do something at the moment and she can
respond and vice versa and there’s something very magical about that right
when it’s dialogue yeah and but you and I think the audience
it is seems to us that the audience appreciates that too you know so many
they’ll come out that you know you’re like I think the last concert was like
you’re like a hand and glove like hand and and love and when we hear you play
it’s like it’s this kind of one person playing which is just the highest
compliment that you could yeah that’s it because it I think I feel so fortunate
that you’re gonna come play for us thank you
one last thing I want to say is that because you mentioned the visual element
we’re gonna make it easy for people to view the yes we have a link on the
program so people can actually scan it or or they can just follow the link on
their phone yeah so this is what I use the display appreciate art yeah so
people who have phones should bring them probably most erotic yeah yeah well
great I’m super excited to have you here I know you’ll be talking more and we’re
gonna watch a little clip here in just a moment from a past performance so thank
you please join us on Sunday March 8th at 3 o’clock for the second in our
winter concerts at the crane happening every Sunday afternoon in March at 3
o’clock do ami will be performing on the 8th and I look forward to seeing you
there

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