• Ensemble ACJW: Let's Welcome Garrett, Andrea, and Daniel

    Ensemble ACJW is introducing new 2014–2016 fellows every Friday. Out of the 18 new fellows, today we are welcoming Garrett Arney, Andrea Casarrubios, and Daniel Kim.

    Find out about what these musicians value, musical advice they have received, and other fun facts!

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    Garrett Arney, Percussion

    Percussionist Garrett Arney is a veteran of numerous international competitions and has performed with groups as varied as So Percussion and Lunar Ensemble, as well as with Michael Burritt and Boris Berman. With a special passion for expanding the repertoire of percussion music, Garrett actively pursues the commissioning and development of new works, including Alejandro Viñao’s Book of Grooves for two marimbas, giving the world premiere with Sao Aoki in January 2012. Hailing from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Robert van Sice, Garrett also holds degrees from Michigan State University and the Peabody Institute.

    Where is your hometown?
    Lansing, Michigan

    What is your most prized possession?
    A wooden box that was made for me a very long time ago. In this box, I have things that matter most to me and remind me why I play music.

    What is the best musical advice you ever received?
    “You have to eat, sleep, and breath music.”

    Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
    As a percussionist, I own many small instruments. The most recent instrument I acquired is a djembe that was brought to me on a street in Ghana after much bargaining with a master drummer.

    Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
    I pace a lot. 

    Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
    Lucille Tuckey—she was my piano teacher through my childhood. I realized recently she gave me so much of my musical thought, and I credit her very much for the way I think about and play music.


    Andrea Casarrubios, Cello

    Andrea Casarrubios has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in many countries throughout Europe, Asia, and America, and has collaborated with artists Daniel Phillips, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ida Kavafian, Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad, Amit Peled, and Wing Ho among others. Andrea studied cello with Maria de Macedo in Madrid and continued with Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute; she completed her master’s degree in 2013 at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. She has collaborated in festivals such as the Verbier Festival Academy and the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, Festival Pablo Casals in France, and Ravinia SMI in Chicago. 

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    Where is home?
    Arenas de San Pedro, Spain 

    If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
    It’s hard for me to imagine my life without music, to be honest. I would be such a different person without it, and I don’t know what that person would like to do at this point!

    I went through many phases when I was little. My father is an artist—he used to sit with me at a table and we would draw and paint together. I loved it and I wanted to become one. Later, I went through some years of not being able to stop reading and so I wanted to become a novelist. Afterwards, the idea of flying to find new planets and exploring galaxies fascinated me, but I did not like my chemistry classes ... so this probably was not a good idea. I also loved ballet and dancing—this activity seemed safer and didn’t involve leaving the planet Earth, which pleased my family. Then I found a passion for inventing and building things, thus I randomly made a big car out of carved wood—I don’t even remember how, but it worked!

    At the end, learning music and sitting down to practice was the one love that remained with me through all these years.

    What is the best musical advice you ever received?
    “Let’s go.”

    I had a yoga instructor for a while in Los Angeles who always used to say this at the end of each session, before opening our eyes to get up and go back to our lives. It wasn’t meant to be advice—much less musical advice, of course—but I think of it every time I start a piece, whether it is old or new. It is a way to remind myself that there is a journey ahead each time that there is a performance, and the journey is always a different one. It keeps my ears alive for anything that comes along, and it reminds me that there is always something to be lived and to be delivered.

    Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
    The cello I play is only four years older than me. It was made in 1984 by French luthier Étienne Vatelot. It was a present from my parents. I went to Paris to try it and bring it home many years ago. It was NOT love at first sight—we have had to work hard and be patient with each other through our 10-year relationship since my hands are too small for this quite sizable instrument! Although I needed a better instrument at the moment, this cello has taught me a lot. 

    Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
    As a good Spanish citizen, I try to take a small siesta so that my brain has energy to burn later at the concert. Then I eat some dark chocolate, sometimes even backstage between different works when they are too difficult ... and I make sure to ask whoever is with me to tell me a joke before I go on stage.

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    Daniel Kim, Viola

    Violist Daniel Kim recently earned his master’s degree in viola performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Samuel Rhodes. An ardent supporter of teaching and working with young people, Daniel took part in a residency in May 2013 with El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela, where he coached chamber groups and performed with his string quartet Quartet Senza Misura. He has also taught at the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute and has led orchestra sectionals for Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. Daniel recently completed a tour of South Korea with Quartet Senza Misura and with Richard O’Neill for his 10th-anniversary concerts. 

    Where is your hometown?
    St. Paul, Minnesota 

    What is the best musical advice you ever received?
    : I’m so scared of messing up that scary, difficult passage in the concert!
    Teacher: Danny, if you do mess up, who cares?! 

    Do you have any stories associated with the instrument you play?
    The violist of the Bohemian Quartet, Oskar Nedbal, was a former owner of my instrument. I think that’s why I love to play Dvořák so much on it!

    Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
    Bananas! And a nice nap.

    What artists or songs (not classical) are you currently listening to? 
    The Beatles, Snoop Dogg, ODB, Michael Jackson, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, The Roots, Daft Punk, Queen, Atmosphere, Jurassic 5, Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder, and Dave Brubeck 

    Do you have a musical mentor you’d like to tell us about?
    My three past viola teachers have done wonders for me. My first teacher on viola was Sabina Thatcher. After that, it was Sally Chisholm at University of Wisconsin-Madison for my bachelor’s, and then I studied with Sam Rhodes at The Juilliard School for my master’s degree. I cannot thank these teachers enough for how they helped me grow in so many ways besides just music.