"I’m the product of two educators who taught me the need to set a standard for common understanding and respect on day one. Also, my teachers did not take any nonsense. That’s something I pass on to my students. But having high expectations doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you do. I try to be the kind of teacher who balances high expectations and having fun."
"I’ve played classical repertoire since I was little. Some think that if you play something often enough, it could become boring or repetitive. But every time I play a concerto, I find something new. And I ask myself, ‘How can I relate to this audience? How can I play this part differently?’ If I do that, then the audience will respond."
"As a cellist, I’m a well-established classical soloist, but I’ve also done everything else: performed in the hip-hop world; toured with a rock band; and worked with Mark O’Connor, an amazing Appalachian blue grass fiddler. I do pretty much everything, so whatever students come to me wanting to learn how to do, I say, ‘I can show you that.’"
"I want my students to walk away knowing they have done the best they can do. I also want them to be open-minded and understand the need to have the best facility they can have on the cello, no matter what style of music they play. I don’t want them to pass up a gig because they ‘don’t know how to do that.’ I’ve done that. Then I figured out I could do other things—and I realized that’s what keeps a roof over your head and food in the refrigerator."