What brought you to the U.S. originally?
I came to the U.S. for family reunification reasons, as well as for my career. I was living and performing in Rome, Italy before I moved to Chicago. It was January; Rome was sunny and in the 60s, and here it was one of the worst Chicago winters—30 below zero! I still remember my shock.
What do you enjoy about playing chamber music?
For me there is nothing better than chamber music—the subtleties of interpretations, the intimacy and sophistication of the musical conversations, all within a small group that becomes family—simply wonderful!
What are you most excited about in the Concert 2 program?
Probably the Arensky quartet, it’s so beautiful and romantic, and with two cellos! Also the Spanish style in the Cassadó, with its exhilarating rhythms and melodies. I love it all!
What has it been like preparing to perform with guest cellist Ian Maksin?
So much fun. We had never played together before, but it felt like we had already played a lifetime. Russian blood with Russian music brings out the passion in us all. Wonderful rehearsals and conversations over coffee.
As a founding member of Orion, how do you feel about reaching your 26th season?
I can’t believe it has been 26! Time really flies when you’re having fun. I feel so lucky and truly blessed to have such incredible colleagues and audiences that have followed us.
What else is coming up that you’re looking forward to?
I have been rehearsing to perform with the Miami Ballet and Chicago Philharmonic at the Harris Theater, then Thanksgiving comes and we start
with The Joffrey Ballet at the Auditorium Theatre. I’ll be on stage performing a trio scene.
Photo by Devon Cass