Early in January of this year, I interviewed Kate Sheeran. Since the majority of the people I've interviewed thus far have been men, I wanted to hear a female administrator and educator's perspective on the future of classical music and music education. Kate Sheeran is not only Provost and Dean for the San Francisco Conservatory, but an accomplished performer in her own right. She has performed with such cutting-edge ensembles as the Wordless Music Orchestra and Alarm Will Sound and has recorded for the Tzadik, Warp, New Amsterdam and Nonesuch labels, among others. Sheeran has served on the horn faculty at Mannes Prep, Dickinson College, Susquehanna University and Bucknell University. She earned a B.M., Performer’s Certificate and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music.Read More
Last year, I interviewed Mike Block, a pioneering cellist who has performed in unlikely venues, worked with YoYo Ma, and revolutionized the way cello is performed. I wanted to know how he went from studying at Juilliard as a classically trained musician to becoming a musical pioneer known for challenging the classical status quo.
A bit about Mike:
MIKE BLOCK is a pioneering multi-style cellist, singer, composer, and educator, hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the "ideal musician of the 21st-Century", and acclaimed by the NY Times for his "vital rich-hued solo playing". While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with which he has toured extensively throughout the world, and won a 2017 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Mike is also an active recording artist of original material, folk music, cross-cultural collaborations, and he has an ongoing project to record all of the Bach cello suites in acoustically glorious bathrooms of famous concert halls, via BachInTheBathroom.com. As one of the first wave of cellists to adopt a strap in order to stand and move while playing, Mike was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall, using a cello strap of his own design, called the Block Strap, a performance which the NY Times called "Breathless ... Half dance, half dare."Read More