Spotlight on Juilliard Students

Jan 2, 2016 by

Spotlight on Juilliard Students

Late December through early January is a valued time of family, friends, rest, and relaxation for many, but especially college students! As many music students are no-doubt enjoying their winter breaks, we wanted to take the opportunity to feature four current Juilliard students from all over the world: Katherine Lee Althen (PA, USA), Giorgio Consolati (Italy), Ji Weon Ryu (South Korea), and Olivia Staton (VA, USA). We asked them about their goals, inspirations, challenges, mentors, personal quirks, and advice for high school flutists. 

 

 


 

 

 Katherine (Katie) Lee Althen: Reading, PA

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Katherine Lee Althen

 

What are your goals personally? Professionally?

Each day I strive to do better than the previous day, both as a human being and in my work with my flute. I think that if I can continue to work diligently and show kindness to those around me, I can find happiness in my life. Professionally, I am really interested in a career that is not simply a job in a professional orchestra. I am incredibly passionate about chamber music, solo work, as well as teaching and out-reach. I would love to find a way to combine all of these things in my life!

 

What inspires you the most in life?

I try to find inspiration in everything, not just music. I find inspiration in all art forms or in anyone that puts their entire being into the work that they are doing.

 

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge has been to remain true to myself and my musical ideas in an environment that can sometimes feel a bit stifling.

 

Who are your music mentors? What have you learned from them?

My greatest music mentor is Paula Robison. Paula is the most incredible human being and musician I have ever met and I feel beyond fortunate to have been able to study with her for four years. I could write an entire book about our time together and all that she has taught me! She has taught me what it means to make music and not just play the notes on the page. She has taught me the careful balance of artistry and technique; one cannot exist without the other. She has taught me that it is our duty as artists to bring light into the world and although this path is not be easy, it is our path and we must devote our body, mind, and soul to this endeavor.

 

Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?

  1. Taking ballet class! - I had classical ballet training from a young age up until I started college so it will always be an important part of my life.
  2. Taking care of my 19 year old frog, Pickles - I have had him since kindergarten.
  3. Learning Spanish and speaking it with my Argentinian boyfriend, Jeremías
  4. Going to museums - the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of my favorite places on earth.
  5. DOGS. I love dogs. It is my dream to have one of my own someday!

 

What 3 things would you offer as advice for a high school flutist?

  1. Experience life beyond the practice room and flute. Get out and live! Learn as much as you can about other art forms besides music; dance, theater, visual arts, etc. This is so incredibly important.
  2. Make the most of your lessons and practice time. Apply yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean working harder but working smarter. I highly recommend Madeline Bruser’s book The Art of Practicing.
  3. Be kind to yourself and treat your fellow musicians with respect. You must realize that we are all in the same boat! There is no room for competitiveness. Lift up your colleagues and learn from them.

 

Giorgio Consolati: Milan, Italy

Giorgio Consolati

Giorgio Consolati

 

What are your goals personally? Professionally?

Becoming a flutist!!!

 

What inspires you the most in life?

Playing and listening to great musicians and orchestras playing.

 

What has been your greatest challenge?

Leaving my country, family, and friends to come to NY to study at Juilliard.

 

Who are your music mentors? What have you learned from them?

Carol Wincenc; from her I have learned how to communicate with the audience the joy of playing music with the deepest respect of the composer's idea.

 

Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?

  1. I am very good at making pizza!
  2. I hate the feeling of cotton under my hands.
  3. Sometimes I forget which day of the week it is.
  4. I am really bad at drawing.
  5. I love dogs but I am scared to go near them!

 

What 3 things would you offer as advice for a high school flutist?

  1. Practice as much as you can!
  2. Try to perform as often as possible.
  3. Try to get good orchestral experience.

 

Ji Weon Ryu: Seoul, South Korea

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Ji Weon Ryu

 

What are your goals personally? Professionally?

I would love to become a professor who teaches young, pre-professional students to be fine musicians who would consequently contribute more to the art community.

 

What inspires you the most in life?

People around me. Everyone is so special, unique, and inspiring. If I take a moment to appreciate their ideas, it turns to be the most inspiring teacher of my life.

 

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge was when I went to the Geneva International Competition last year. It was my first time to advance into the second round of an international competition. The experience I received during the preparation and during the performance under enormous pressure was hard to endure at that moment, however, it was such a precious moment, which led me to become more mature musically and personally.

 

Who are your music mentors? What have you learned from them?

Among many of my music mentors, I admire Mannheim Pressler and his passion towards music. Recently, he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at age 90 and the performance moved me in a various ways. I wish to become a musician whose love towards music not only helps to overcome myself but also constantly makes me share this love with other people.

 

Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?

  1. Baking with my friends after chamber rehearsals
  2. Enjoying wintertime with a cup of homemade mulled wine
  3. Ice skating
  4. Skiing
  5. Museum/ gallery visits (recently, Picasso sculptures at MoMa, the night at the museum at MoMa PS1, Alberto Burri @ Guggenheim were impressive )

 

What 3 things would you offer as advice for a high school flutist?

  1. Experience a lot! Not only with flute but also with various kinds of arts, traveling, etc. All the experiences you have had will be permeated into you and your music in spite of yourself.
  2. Practice wisely: In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. If one practices 3 hours a day, then it will take 8-10 years to accumulate ten thousand hours. However, practicing doesn't only apply when one actually sits in the practice room but just thinking about the work helps to achieve practice goal. So, I practice wisely with my head, imagining that I am practicing in the practice room, while I am walking on the street or if I have a few minutes of spare time.
  3. "Play from your heart." My teacher, Carol Wincenc, always encourages with this phrase and helps me to remember the essence of music playing is not about playing without no mistakes but how truly my heart is connected to the music I am playing.

 

Olivia Staton: Vienna, VA

Olivia Staton

Olivia Staton

 

What are your goals personally? Professionally?

My personal goal is to become the best musician that I can be, and in doing so, be able to give meaningful performances that audiences understand and can relate to. My goal professionally is to play in a professional orchestra!

 

What inspires you the most in life?

Many things inspire me in life, but the things that inspire me the most are nature, people, and music.

 

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge while being at school has been managing my time between practicing, classes, and rehearsals.

 

Who are your music mentors? What have you learned from them?

I currently study with Jeffrey Khaner, and he has taught (and is teaching!) me the importance of paying attention to detail and how to be an intelligent musician. I studied with Aaron Goldman in high school and he taught me the importance of careful practice and the importance and necessity of colors and shapes in music.

 

Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?

  1. Ballet
  2. Hiking
  3. Taking walks outside
  4. Drinking kombucha (or any kind of tea)
  5. Skiing

 

What 3 things would you offer as advice for a high school flutist?

  1. Soak up everything your teachers tell you
  2. Take advantage of every performance opportunity you get
  3. Practice and stay focused!

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