Dec. 15, 1994
Studied at the Bienen School of Music of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois under Prof. Hans Jørgen Jensen. In 2012 he won the Anna Johansen International Competition for Young String Players in Washington. In 2013 he took second place in the National YoungArts Foundation Music Competition in Miami and won the bronze medal at the 3rd Gaspar Cassadó International Violoncello Competition in Hachioji (Japan). He performs with many orchestras as soloist and recently gave a concert with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2014 he was featured in an episode of the HBO series “Masterclass” with Joshua Bell with whom he later played chamber works in New York, London, Miami, and Washington. He plays cello made by Antonio Cassini in 1668.
How do you overcome the stage fright? / What is your ritual before going on stage?
I eat 2-3 bananas, drink plenty of water, and crack my knuckles.
When you perform... who are you playing for?
I play for anyone in the audience who may be going through life challenges or tough times (so basically everyone). I seek to heal damaged souls through the presentation of beautiful music.
What job would you least like to do?
A Caretaker of spiders...
Is there a joke about musicians that you would like to share with us?
After an orchestra rehearsal, a lady sees a trumpet player pack his trumpet into a viola case. When she asks, “why?” the man replies: “theft protection.”
What's the "most played" non-classical track on your phone?
“Close to You” by Jacob Collier.
You are on a desert island and can bring only 3 items, what do you bring?
My cello/bow, some wine, and…a ship
What is your favorite noise/sound? What is the most annoying noise for you?
My favorite sound is the sound of rain (when I have an umbrella or I am indoors). The sound of metal scratching on a chalkboard is the most terrible noise in the world.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
As a young man, I would love to live somewhere exotic, like Sicily. But when I am old, settling down in the beautiful suburbs near San Francisco sounds great.
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word Tchaikovsky?
Ballet, fairies, and celebration.
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word competition?
Friends, travel, and good food.
Which people would you invite as guests to your dream dinner party?
Yo-Yo Ma, Robin Williams, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
What is your favorite meal?
Do you have a favorite motto or proverb that you live your life by?
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
Which person or people inspire you the most?
If you were 80 years old, what advice would you give to young people today?
Don’t forget to stop occasionally and observe the stunning beauty of this Earth. Mother Nature is the ultimate artist, and we should do our utmost to preserve her
What would you like people to say about you?
“You know that guy Brannon? He’s a little crazy.”