This is a guest post by UMBC Music Professor Airi Yoshioka.
When UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein met in 2015 upon the opening of UMBC’s Performing Arts and Humanities Building, the seed was planted for a possible collaborative project between the two institutions. Dr. Sarah Hoover (Special Assistant to the Dean at Peabody), Dr. Linda Dusman (Chair of the Music Department at UMBC), and I met in the fall of 2015 to brainstorm possible ways to tap into each institutions’ strengths.
We inaugurated the partnership in the spring of 2016, when UMBC welcomed pianist and Peabody doctoral candidate Sejoon Park to give a recital in Linehan Concert Hall. Mr. Park played an impressive recital and the audience was treated to a beautiful evening of traditional piano repertoire. Upon reflection of what might constitute a more comprehensive partnership, we sought ways to create a more integrated interaction between Peabody artists and UMBC students. We landed upon a model in which the advanced degree students at Peabody would present topical classes, give master classes in their specific field, and produce a culminating concert involving some innovative approach to the concert presentation.
Aside from performing in our beautiful concert hall, one of the experiences that UMBC could offer the Peabody graduate students is a first-hand teaching experience working with college students, since many Peabody graduates will undoubtedly go on to hold college teaching positions. Additionally, given my experience as a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Education and a consultant to the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, the Peabody artists would have the opportunity to explore different ways to engage the audience in a more interactive and engaging concert experience. Our students in turn would get the chance to work directly with young artists on the cusp of their careers.
The four Peabody artists who participated in the 2016-17 Interplay program – cellist Mauricio Rey Gallego, pianist Teodora Adzharova, countertenor Min Sang Kim, and pianist Sungpil Kim – all brought outstanding work ethics, sheer commitment and dedication to music, and uncanny wisdom about music and life to this partnership. They were also incredibly generous and their presence in our community highlighted the important lesson that to be a successful artist and a teacher, who they are as people will matter.
Dr. Airi Yoshioka
Professor of Music at UMBC