• Quinn Gomez on Butterflies and Bobcats, From the Top, and The Achievement Program

    Inspiring stories and performances by talented teen musicians from across the US and Canada will be showcased in From The Top: The Achievers, a live taping of NPR’s popular radio show with host Christopher O’Riley on Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. This performance, presented by the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in partnership with From the Top, features a range of students who have excelled in their musical studies. One of them, Quinn Gomez, shares his experiences below.   

    How do you feel about making your Carnegie Hall debut?

    It’s a wonderful and encouraging feeling to know that I will be performing in a place that has seen not only the greatest musicians of all time, but some of the greatest minds, activists, and philosophers. I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, and I will embrace my time here with optimism and zeal.

    Tell us what you will be performing at the March 27th From the Top event. What inspired you to choose this piece?

    I will be performing a Canadian piece called Butterflies and Bobcats by David McIntyre. I felt that this piece suits the occasion well since I will be representing The Royal Conservatory of Music: This piece has become an essential part of Canadian music literature since its composition in 2004. Implied by its title, this piece’s dynamic characters and colors make it so much fun to play, though not without its intimate and emotional moments.

    Besides David McIntyre, who are some of your favorite composers you like to perform? 

    I could never choose a favorite composer or piece that I like to perform. Each composer presents his own unique voice, intentions, challenges, ideas, and message through his music. This makes it difficult to choose a favorite, for how can you determine which composer or piece is more sincere, musical, or profound? I think that if you are able to choose a favorite, then you are not looking deep enough into the other pieces or composers that you are performing.  

    Tell us about your experience with The Achievement Program.

    I've been involved with the program since I was eight years old. My experience has been a nurturing one; anyone who pursues it with earnest dedication can benefit immensely, not only in their musical abilities, but in the development of a sincere passion that is otherwise difficult to find.

    What advice would you give to someone your age who wants to become a musician?

    I would encourage that person to find their unique voice that they want to contribute through music. I think from my age onwards, music serves not so much as an entertainment factor, but as a means to help the musician understand the truth of human nature and life. Consequently, it is important to grow with music at the same pace that you grow in life, because in a sense they are related.

    Which musicians have inspired you musically?

    Concert pianists such as Horowitz, Arrau, and Sokolov have inspired me musically through their artistry and passion, and I aspire to develop that special quality. Sometimes I am inspired by the musicians who aren’t recognized—the ones who aren’t given the opportunity to share their immense talent, yet still continue to pursue music out of joy and love. Composers such as Schubert and Arvo Pärt have significantly inspired me musically because to me, their music contains elements of truth, love, and eternity, which I think is what all musicians strive to achieve.

    What is one of the important things you’ve learned from your music teacher?

    From my piano teacher, I have learned that failure is profoundly good, for how can you grow if you don’t know what it feels like to fall? How can you develop your abilities and knowledge if you are flawless? She taught me that failure is an inevitable and essential aspect on the path to success. Therefore the only true failure is when you terminate your passion out of fear of failure (kind of paradoxical).

    What are your goals for your future as a musician?

    My goal as a musician is simply to better understand the universal community that we are all a part of, to help others find their unique voice, and to spread the joy and love that exists in every soul—and I believe this can all be achieved through music.

    Don't miss Quinn Gomez and a number of other remarkable students on
     Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. The performance will also  be broadcast by stations nationwide during the week of April 30 and heard in New York on WQXR-FM.

    Eighteen-year-old Quinn Gomez from Calgary, Canada, is enrolled in the Bachelor of Music program at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a piano student of Daniel Shapiro. Before that, he studied for nearly a decade with Royal Conservatory of Music examiner Linda Kundert-Stoll, who has been a crucial mentor in his musical development. Quinn has performed in numerous ensembles, including the prestigious Gryphon Trio with whom he performed the Piano Trio No. 1 by renowned Canadian composer David McIntyre. Awards include top prizes in the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association piano competition, Alberta Provincial Music Festival, and Calgary Concerto competition, where he played Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Calgary Civic Symphony. Quinn was a member of the Mount Royal Conservatory of Music Academy, a performance-based program through which students are given the opportunity to participate in master classes with some of the most renowned teachers and musicians in the world. Aside from piano performance, Quinn is also keen composer and has received numerous awards for his compositions. In his spare time, he likes to read, compose, and admire nature.