Your career is incredibly eclectic, having written multiple large and small scale musical works, poetry, short stories, fictional books, and theater pieces. Can you tell us about yourself?
From a very early age, I was exposed to and encouraged to be involved with all the arts: music, poetry fiction, painting etc. So, I’ve always been inspired in all these areas and developed a great passion, as well as expertise in working in them. I also have had unbelievably great and caring teachers throughout my life.
What have been some of your major career and personal milestones?
One set of milestones has been gaining degrees in music, poetry, literature and creative writing, psychology, and philosophy. I started writing plays when I was 9 years old, and since then, some other milestones have been publishing my first short story in the New Yorker, having my first concert at Carnegie Hall, and receiving my first standing ovation.
What would you say have been your strongest creative influences throughout your life, both as a writer and a composer and in general?
I grew up in a house full of books, music, and painting. I loved listening to my mother play Chopin and my father play recordings of Rachmaninoff. A great wealth of brilliant teachers have also inspired me, as have my many opportunities to perform and publish.
I’ve always been multi-passioned with a deep feeling for literature, theatre, music and arts, having been exposed to inspiring examples all my life.
Can you tell us about your upcoming project “Courageous Women of Antiquity” which will premiere at New York’s Alice Tully Hall on April 26th?
I’m feeling very inspired by the lives of strong women, particularly those who never got adequate praise or education; from Hildegard von Bingen to Edith Wharton, to the two women who I focus on in this concert: Anna Komnene and Lavinia. Both of these pieces stress in a poetic way the influence of strong women and the crucial value of education for women.
Tell us about these incredible women, and how they’ve personally inspired and impacted your life?
They were women who had the right strength and education at the right time. Both stories are from early periods when women's efforts were not highly esteemed. I just felt compelled to feature women who have been shortchanged in history and in life.
How do you anticipate it will feel, sitting in the hall, listening, and watching your ideas and thoughts materialize in front of you?
I’m going to feel pure euphoria, combined with the thrill of my work being appreciated.
What are you hoping your listeners will take away with them from the two works?
I hope they’ll find the works beautiful, inspiring, original, and powerful.
What is your best piece of advice for young creatives today, especially given that creators are often encouraged to specialize their skill set?
Never let go of any of your key passions, always strive to maintain and build them.