William Esper Studio

INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

BRIAN COX

NICOLE ANSARI

DAVID SHINER

DAVID GREENSPAN

BILL D'ELIA

FYVUSH FINKEL

LYLE KESSLER

JENNIFER FOUCHÉ

SHELDON EPPS

MYRIAM CYR

JIM SEALES

ROBERT STAFFANSON

IAN FINKEL

WILLIAM S. YELLOWROBE, JR.

EDDIE MARTIN

PETER JENSEN

TIM STEVENSON

Spotlight On

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art

“I remember reading a framed needlepoint sampler when I was young: “You must not judge another man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.” This little piece of craft store kitsch was like an epiphany for me…And going to the United Nations opened up this door to an idea for me, an idea of peace and reconciliation among strangers who distrusted each other. And I think I’ve never really given that up or gone beyond that idea of being a translator, of explaining people to each other, of being a conduit of mutual emotional understanding. I’m only being a little grandiose when I say I think that’s why I've always been drawn to characters who are difficult to translate to other people, prissy women, disagreeable women, women whose motives are easily misconstrued, women who are hard to love."  
- Meryl Streep

 

 

Hirschfeld

 

“In everything, without doubt, truth has the advantage over imitation.”
- Cicero

 

 

 

“The actor must constantly remember that he is on the stage for the sake of the public.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Oh Eagle, come with wings
Outspread in sunny skies.
Oh Eagle, come and bring us peace,
thy gentle peace.
Oh Eagle, come and give new life
to us who pray.
Remember the circle of the sky, the
stars, and the brown eagle.
the great life of the Sun,
the young within the nest,
Remember the sacredness of things.”
- Pawnee prayer

“And above all,
watch with glittering eyes
the whole world
around you
because the greatest secrets
are always are hidden
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe
in magic
will never find it.”
- Roald Dahl

Eugenia Zukerman

EugeniaZukerman.jpgHailed as one of the greatest flutists of our time, Miss Zukerman is in demand from New York to China as an orchestral soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. She recently appeared at Armstrong Auditorium in Oklahoma with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis. She has enjoyed musical collaborations with Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the Shanghai String Quartet and fellow flutists Jean- Pierre Rampal and James Galway. Recently, she made her heralded debut at the prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland, performing challenging chamber works by Hanns Eisler, Arnold Schönberg, Andreas Jakob Romberg and Behzad Ranjbaran. She has partnered with some of the world's finest musicians, including violinist Dimitry Sitkovetsky, violist Nobuko Imai, cellist Frans Helmerson, and pianist Elena Bashkirova, among others.  Also recently, she performed with the Manhattan Piano Trio in Pennsylvania, with the Symphony Space All-Stars in New York City in a festive concert of Brandenburg Concerti, and with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op.39 conducted by Rossen Milanov, Music Director and Conductor. Maintaining an international concert calendar with more than thirty performances annually, her multi-faceted career also includes distinguished work as an arts administrator, author, educator, internet entrepreneur, and journalist. For twenty years Miss Zuckerman has performed a yearly three-concert series of thematic programs at the New York Public Library with harpsichordist. This season she collaborated with Mr. Newman in a flute and organ performance in Amarillo, Texas, and in over twenty recitals nationwide with pianist Milana Strezeva. Performing as soloist with many of the world's finest orchestras, her numerous guest appearances have included engagements with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic, and the Israel, Moscow, Prague and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. The breadth of her appearances in North America includes more than eighty orchestras nationwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony in Washington DC, the Montreal and Vancouver Symphonies and the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico.  Last year, she performed Mozart's concerto for Flute and Harp with Yolanda Kondonassis, in the opening concert of the Vail Valley Music Festival, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. A creative and dynamic administrator, Eugenia Zukerman has been invited to curate Dallas Symphony's inaugural Dallas Arts Fest in 2014. The appointment follows thirteen distinguished years as Artistic Director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. During her tenure, the festival in Vail developed an international profile through the annual residencies of the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony. Yo-Yo Ma, Lang-Lang, Yefim Bromfman and Jean-Yves Thibaudet were among the many internationally renowned artists who appeared during her directorship, further elevating the reputation of the Festival. Recognized with an Emmy nomination as a broadcast journalist, Miss Zukerman interviewed and created more than three hundred portraits as an Arts Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. Her interview subjects have included Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Helen Frankenthaler, Julie Taymor, and Isaac Stern. For more than twenty-five years she introduced viewers to the most outstanding creators in fine art, music, dance and theater. Miss Zukerman has also appeared on “The Today Show,” “Morning Show,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” and numerous specials on PBS. She founded Classical Genie, an internet company that provides video content to music schools, artist, managers, orchestras and other institutions for use on their websites, including the Manhattan School of Music's 50th Anniversary celebration and The Harlem School of the Arts million dollar fundraising appeal. As an arts journalist, Miss Zukerman created the first vlog (video blog) for the MusicalAmerica website, introducing the world to the Verbier Festival from her inside perspective as a performer. She has recorded over two dozen discs, including her most recent recording, “Flesh & Stone: The Songs of Jake Heggie” with all proceeds benefitting Classical Action; Performing Arts Against AIDS. Author of the New York Public Library's Award-winning non-fiction book In My Mother's Closet,and Coping with Prednisone (co-authored with her sister, Dr. Julie R. Ingelfinger), Miss Zukerman also wrote two novels: Deceptive Cadence and Taking The Heat. A regular contributor to “The Washington Post” book review and “Musical America,” in the summer of 2011, she performed with her singer-songwriter daughter Natalia Zukerman, and percussionist Mona Tavakoli, in a benefit concert for Roundup River Ranch, an organization founded by Paul Newman, providing camp experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses. Miss Zukerman also performed and served as host for Young Concert Artists' 50th Anniversary musical marathon at Symphony Space in New York. Miss Zukerman, a Young Concert Artists Award-winning flutist, received their Lifetime Honor Award, as well as the Concert Artists Guild Virtuoso Award for Dedication to the Arts, New York City’s Open University of Israel’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Woman of Achievement Award from the National Hadassah Organization, and The Women's Project’s Exceptional Achievement Award Adjunct faculty member at New York University's Steinhardt School of Music , she is a frequent guest teacher at conservatories nationwide, most recently creating and teaching a multi-disciplinary two week residency at The Hartt School.

I understand you’ve been quite busy and you were just part of the Friends of Aeolian Skinner Opus 1024 series.

Yes, I was down in Amarillo for the recital with Anthony Newman with flute and organ. I’ve been doing a lot of concerts with the Moldavian pianist, Miala Streveza. She is the same age as my daughter – an old soul, and a wonderful musician. I’ve gone to many places, and many are very different smaller places than large concert halls. I’ve performed in small community centers, churches, many of these kinds of places across the country.

I’m struck what a great country this is – so diverse. I also recently played with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, performing Lowell Liebermann’s Flute Concerto. The program was called “Shakespearean Drama.” I felt really good. I had a lot of fun

Eugenia Zuckerman

How young were you when you began to play?

My parents were very musical. My father was an inventor and an engineer, my mother and my father both played the piano. My mother was a mathematician. I studied the piano early on, and started playing the flute when I was ten years old.

It’s a wonderful story about public schools. We lived in West Hartford, Connecticut, and they had brought in members of the symphony to play and when I heard the flute I was enchanted. I ran home and said to my mother: “I have to play the flute!” In those days they provided me with a teacher, and an instrument. I got a scholarship and started lessons and years later I am still learning.

What was it about the flute that so attracted you?

It was the sound, I think. When I talk to my colleagues they say something about the sound too. It spoke to me.

What do you feel music can offer a young person?

For a young person music I feel is essential. It’s a way to express yourself that is not specific – a way to say how you feel about everything in a wonderfully cathartic way, to get in touch with your feelings and emotion.

Teenagers are often, you might say, harmonically, emotionally in turmoil, and music can be a friend. If they take up a flute or violin or a piano and sit and play, it becomes one of the most important ways of expressing yourself, reaching out to something larger than yourself.
You read scientific statements that if you smile during the day or if you play music you’ll be happier. It’s an instant uplift, sort of like a coffee with a little champagne.

 You have found so many ways to communicate your love for music.

I’m writing, and I also started my own Internet company, ClassicalGenie.com, looking for new ways to report on the art I adore. I did my first video blog for Musical America Worldwide, the largest resource in the world, when I played at the Verbier festival in Switzerland, and then another one for Tanglewood. I have novels which share my love for music, and I’m also giving master classes.
I feel very lucky.

How would you describe the experience you’re having when you’re playing?

I think there are times what you’re having might be described as an out-of-body experience. In fact you’re unaware of anything physically. Music is a path between ourselves and the infinite. It takes me out of myself, that’s part of why I love it so much.

We’re so wrapped so much in our ideas, but when you can release yourself and become a part of something larger, you experience being a part of the greater good.

We’ve lost a sense of this and music is about this.

We need to spend more time chatting with others, sitting on the “town green,” and not sitting in front of our computers. It’s about getting outside of our own little selves.

Music is a very giving experience. Sometimes, it can be quite draining. But it’s also very restorative.

Do you feel your playing has changed since you began?

I have changed. I have noticed a lot of tremendous opposites come together. I no longer worry about extraneous things. I lose myself to be in the music and to be in the moment. It’s a contradictory thing I gotten really good at.

I’m playing music at a time when my body is beginning to fall apart, so there’s a tremendous contradiction; a paradox. My ability to make music, my knowledge how to phrase the quality of a sound has highly developed, particularly for a flute player, but I’ve noticed my muscles have also changed. I can’t always play the way I’d like to. Being a musician is an extremely physical activity. I can jump in the air but not as high as I used to but I feel I still have quite a number of years left in me.

And what does playing do for you now?

I know music heals me. If I’m feeling agitated, concerned about something, I go to music. It’s the best cure. I can pick up the flute and play.  

I have friends in the field of healing and they tell me it does the same thing for them.

Is there particular music which is your favorite to play?

It’s like saying: Which of your children do you love the best? It’s all great music. I love the contemporary music I play; it’s really thrilling. I feel we’re in a rich moment of music. We really need to have more financial support. There’s so many magnificent artists that need our support. I know we always look back but there are some truly great pieces of the early 21st  century and new ones being created all the time.

How would you describe where you are at this moment?

This is the best time of my life. I just became a grandmother; it’s the first time. She’s the light of my life, so is my new husband. I am in love in a way I have never been before. My husband and I have four children, and I adore them all. And we have a beautiful farm in New York, plus our place in Greenwich. My husband’s in broadcasting and he loves music and is very supportive. My mother turned 98 in April so there’s so much I feel grateful for. I’m able to do a lot concerts.

Sometimes I get to a point where I look around and so many of my friends are not doing so well, so it can be a day-to-day thing, and I realize I’m no longer in the prime of health, still I feel it’s a golden time at this moment. It’s been my busiest year and I felt I’m going to be as active as I can. I’m so looking forward to keep playing!


 


"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

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