Up next, in our series of spotlight interviews... Lauren!
What got you interested in new music?
I think I've always been interested in contemporary music even from a young age, but it wasn't until I started my undergrad at Juilliard that I really began to play a lot of new music. There were so many talented musicians at the school that I wanted to play with, and I was trying to figure out as many opportunities to perform as possible, so I became involved with the New Juilliard Ensemble and AXIOM during my first few years --- and I loved it. Not only was the music gratifying and exciting, but the musicians I met through those ensembles were -- and still are -- some of the most inspiring and intelligent artists I've been able to work with. There is such a feeling of vitality and excitement when an ensemble is preparing fine new music, and working with composers, and inevitably those experiences made me fall in love with it.
Why are you excited about playing with Ensemble Échappé?
The other musicians in this ensemble are amazing! It really is a roster of new music rockstars, and I am beyond excited to work with such talented individuals.
Do you engage in any music styles other than "classical"? If so, what?
I studied jazz piano pretty seriously for about five years, but that was a long time ago -- I still love jazz and would like to pick it up again someday.
As someone who collaborates with living composers, do you ever write music?
I used to compose a lot at my arts high school -- a lot of my friends at school were composers, so I wanted to take classes with them. But I was always so nervous about having my pieces performed...it was terrifying.
What exciting projects do you have coming up in the next year or so?
This is my last year at Juilliard as a masters student, so I'm going to try to perform as much as possible. Right now I'm also planning a recital in the spring in Chicago (where I grew up) of works by Armenian composers -- my mother is Armenian, so I am always looking for ways to engage in that community through classical music.
What's your favorite drink/cocktail?
Gin and tonic!
Tell us a fun fact/story about your non-music life.
I'm pretty obsessed with roller coasters, and also knitting.
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