I grew up in Philadelphia, the home of The Curtis Institute. This summer, my mother will turn 100 years old and she continues to teach on the major piano faculty of this respected musical institution. I can remember listening to my mother teach piano lessons for up to nine hours a day, six days per week. My father was also affiliated with The Curtis as a pianist and accompanist. So I loved that there was always music in our home.
My mother’s example of commitment to her students was so inspirational to me. I have followed in her footsteps and now teach at the Peabody Institute as well as private lessons. Seven of my students have won piccolo jobs with symphony orchestras, which makes me so proud and happy for them. It is also very rewarding to help high school students reach their goals of being accepted into universities and conservatories. And I derive great satisfaction from working with adult amateurs. I’m inspired by anyone who wants to learn the instrument, and this helps me remember why what I get to do with the BSO every day is a great privilege.
The BSO has been there for me when I most needed support. Nearly 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It meant so much to me that all that our management ever said was, "How can we help you get back to playing?" I don't know of anyone else who would expect that sort of support from his or her place of employment. I had many health professionals suggest that I should consider another type of job, given the physical demands of practicing and performing. But playing in the Baltimore Symphonyis so much more than just a "job!”
I have learned to live with and manage my fibromyalgia. I exercise one hour every morning. And I always look forward to some R & R in the summer. We have spent every August since I was seven years old at my family’s summer home in idyllic Rockport, Maine. My sister and I still own our family's home there on the harbor. Naturally, it’s especially wonderful when my grown daughter, Genia, can join us. She’s a restaurant manager in New York City, so she leads a busy life as well! It’s always tough to say goodbye to that peaceful summer retreat, but I feel blessed to return to an Orchestra that energizes me and students who inspire me.