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Down the Pit

Down the Pit

By Down the Pit
Professional musicians Sami Merdinian and Ian Loew are the co-hosts of Down the Pit, a podcast series that delves into the world of classical music, bringing in leading conductors, composers, and performers to the show, to demystify, promote increased accessibility for the genre, and analyze its future. Each episode will have an incredible guest, and through casual and fun conversations, we will dive into their fascinating lives. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit.
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Lucia Micarelli, A Renaissance Woman
“A VIOLINIST OF HEART-MELTING TALENT.” – The Wall Street Journal “DAZZLING SKILLS AND A MONA LISA SMILE.” – The Washington Post A very special episode with violinist, singer, actress Lucia Micarelli!  Born in Queens, New York, Lucia has been immersed in the arts since the age of three. After attending the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music,  Lucia began to develop a growing interest in non-classical music.  She started moonlighting with local jazz and rock bands in New York clubs, and  she was offered to tour with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a featured violinist and concertmaster. In addition, she’s been a featured soloist in two of Josh Groban’s world tours, toured extensively with Chris Botti and was featured in his “Live From Boston” PBS special along with being featured in Barbra Streisand’s 2013 international tour. She also released two solo studio albums, “Music From A Farther Room” and “Interlude”.  But 2009 saw Lucia broadening her career even further when she was cast in the starring role of “Annie” in HBO’s critically acclaimed series, “Treme”, created by David Simon and Eric Overmeyer, which ran for four seasons and won a Peabody Award as well as a Primetime Emmy Award. Since then, Lucia’s profile has continued to soar. In 2018, Lucia appeared in her first PBS concert special, which aired throughout the US and spawned the live album “An Evening with Lucia Micarelli”.  In 2020, Lucia joined the Hallmark Family and starred in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries holiday movie “The Christmas Bow” alongside Michael Rady.  Whether on stage or screen, Lucia is sure to take you on an eclectic journey through her many musical influences - from classical to jazz to traditional fiddle music and Americana - all bound together by her trademark emotional vulnerability and technical wizardry. Thanks for listening and please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Visit tonebase.com for some amazing online courses and lessons for Violin, Piano or Guitar. The best online platform with hundreds of instructional videos and lessons for musicians of all levels! Check it out and use Promo Code SAMI-30 at Checkout for a 14-day FREE trial and 30% off for a yearly subscription. Sign up TODAY! Thanks to our corporate sponsor U.S. PAVE! Check out our website www.downthepit.com We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod and @samiviolin Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com https://luciamicarelli.com/ @theloosh
01:27:38
September 25, 2022
Composer Adam Schoenberg: Humans VS Artificial Intelligence
Great conversation with composer extraordinaire, Emmy Award-winning and Grammy® nominated Adam Schoenberg who has been named among the top 10 most performed living composers by orchestras in the United States twice. His works have received performances and premieres at the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center, New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Hollywood Bowl. In this episode we talk about his musical family and his direct relation to George Gershwin. He talks about the very different experience he felt attending the Oberlin Conservatory VS The Juilliard School, the importance of having a support network, the path that took him to Los Angeles and to start a family there. He also shares details about the process of writing the Cello Concerto "Automation" for a human soloist and a hologram using technology and Artificial Intelligence, and some secrets to his huge success! Thanks for listening and please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Visit tonebase.com for some amazing online courses and lessons for Violin, Piano or Guitar. The best online platform with hundreds of instructional videos and lessons for musicians of all levels! Check it out and use Promo Code SAMI-30 at Checkout for a 14-day FREE trial and 30% off for a yearly subscription. Sign up TODAY! Check out our website www.downthepit.com We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod and @samiviolin Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com https://adamschoenberg.com/ @adamshoenbergmusic
51:08
July 26, 2022
Scoring for TV & Movies: The Jeff Cardoni Method (Part II)
Last episode of Season 2 of Down the Pit, and final part of our conversation with Film & TV Composer Jeff Cardoni. Jeff’s talents range from intimate independent fare to full orchestral majesty. With over 45 feature film scores and several network series to his credit, one can hear his work worldwide every day. His unique ability to cross genres has made him a power-ful player in the film composing industry.  In this episode Jeff compares writing for TV vs Film, staying true to himself and usually going for 1st takes, his amazing experience writing for the show Heels, his solo album Nuovo Futuro, reviews, advice for people trying to get into the industry, a lot of laughter and a wonderful way to end Season 2 and 2021. Happy New Year to all and please stay tuned for the launching of Season 3! Thanks for listening and please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Check out our new website www.downthepit.com We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com https://www.jeffcardoni.com/ @jeff_cardoni
37:12
December 30, 2021
Scoring for TV & Movies: The Jeff Cardoni Method (Part I)
Part 1 of our conversation with 2019 ASCAP Composer of the Year Jeff Cardoni. Jeff’s talents range from intimate independent fare to full orchestral majesty. With over 45 feature film scores and several network series to his credit, one can hear his work worldwide every day. His unique ability to cross genres has made him a power- ful player in the film composing industry.  CSI: Miami, MTV's Pimp my Ride, Golden Globe winning Netflix series The Kominsky Method, as well as the final season of HBO’s hit Silicon Valley and Starz Series Heels, are some of the scores he has written in his incredible career so far. In this episode we have a fun and laid back chat about his childhood, doing all the "right" things as a kid,  going to school for engineering, moving to DC and ultimately LA as a rock guitar player, transitioning to composing, his struggles in LA in his first few years, going all-in, his lucky break, staying true to himself, recording for TV vs Movies, and a great insight into the Film Score Industry. Thanks for listening and please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Check out our new website www.downthepit.com We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com https://www.jeffcardoni.com/ @jeff_cardoni
30:48
December 22, 2021
From Jazz to Tango with Pedro Giraudo (Part II)
Continuation of our fun conversation with Latin Grammy Award winning bassist and composer Pedro Giraudo. He shares with us his style of composition, where he finds inspiration, what he does for fun his fear of aging and how he has changed his lifestyle to adjust to it. You will also listen to his composition "Con Creces" from his 2021 album Impulso Tanguero, featuring bandoneonist Rodolfo Zanetti, pianist Ahmed Alom and violinist Nick Danielson. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Very soon we will be launching our new website www.downthepit.com We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com http://pedrogiraudo.com/ Insta: @giraudo_pedro Twitter: @pedrogiraudo TikTok: @giraudopedro
31:11
November 29, 2021
From Jazz to Tango with Pedro Giraudo (Part I)
Part 1 of our conversation with Latin Grammy Award winning bassist and composer Pedro Giraudo. In this episode he talks about growing uip in a musical family in Cordoba, Argentina, how he got into music, his musical journey that brought him to New York City, his experiences and differences between leading his big band in New York and being a guest in Japan and Germany, a close look at his style of composition that led him to win a Latin Grammy Award for Best Tango Album, his love for Japan, and his secrets to have a balanced life.  Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. For a one time pledge, you can Venmo us at @downthepit We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com http://pedrogiraudo.com/ Insta: @giraudo_pedro Twitter: @pedrogiraudo TikTok: @giraudopedro
35:23
November 21, 2021
A New Musician Mindset: Adapting to Today's World with Audrey Vardanega and Christos Vayenas (Part II)
Part 2 of our conversation with pianists and entrepreneurs Audrey Vardanega and Christos Vayenas. We talk more about the next steps of Arium TV, support for the Arts, fair compensation for musicians, their source of inspiration, their hopes, their fears, and a lot more! Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. If you would like to advertise with us, please email downthepitpod@gmail.com We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com/ https://www.musaics.org/ https://www.arium.live/ http://audreyvardanegapianist.com/ https://www.cvayenas.com/ https://www.groupmuse.com/ @ariumtv @audreyvardy @musaicsofthebay
38:48
October 25, 2021
A New Musician Mindset: Adapting to Today's World with Audrey Vardanega and Christos Vayenas (Part I)
Part 1 of our conversation with pianists and entrepreneurs Audrey Vardanega and Christos Vayenas. We will learn about their careers, how they got into music, their upbringings in the Bay Area and the Northeast, how they transitioned during the pandemic, their passion to help musicians and their careers, as well as some of the awesome and unique ventures they are involved in like Group Muse, Musaics of the Bay, and their brand new Arium TV!  Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. If you would like to advertise with us, please email admin@downthepit.com  We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com/ https://www.musaics.org/ https://www.arium.live/ http://audreyvardanegapianist.com/ https://www.cvayenas.com/ https://www.groupmuse.com/ @ariumtv @audreyvardy @musaicsofthebay
46:48
September 27, 2021
Crossing the Pond with Pianist Philip Edward Fisher (Part II)
Part 2 and final episode of our conversation with the world-acclaimed British pianist Philip Edward Fisher. He will tell us about his recording experiences with Naxos, Chandos, going through the pandemic and our way to recovery, the Covid-19 Variations, what gives him hope, his sources of inspiration, the future of classical music, and so much more Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. For a one time pledge, you can Venmo us at @downthepit We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com http://philipedwardfisher.com/ @philipedwardfisher
01:08:06
September 09, 2021
Crossing the Pond with Pianist Philip Edward Fisher (Part I)
Part 1 of our conversation with the world-acclaimed British pianist Philip Edward Fisher. We will learn about his young years in Birmingham and how music took him to London, his love for soccer and snooker, his mentors, moving to NYC, the secret ingredient for the best Fish and Chips, playing by memory vs with music, the mind of the performer, how 9/11 directly affected one of his most special and powerful experiences on stage, and so much more during our educative and entertaining conversation.  Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit.  For a one time pledge, you can Venmo us at @downthepit We are on Instagram/TikTok/Twitter @downthepit_pod  Facebook: Down the Pit Podcast Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Chris Ellis https://www.downthepit.com http://philipedwardfisher.com/ @philipedwardfisher
34:11
August 26, 2021
Camille Zamora: Soprano extraordinaire & Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope (Part II)
Here it is, the second part of our conversation with the incredible soprano and citizen artist Camille Zamora. In this episode Camille talks about her involvement with a Grammy-winning production, her response to 9/11 while living in NYC and how it lead to co-founding Sing for Hope, her fears, her hopes, her inspirations, (and maybe some dating advice for musicians?). A super fun and fascinating interview you do not want to miss! Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter/Instagram/TikTok: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian - Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 - Producer: Sami Merdinian - Assistant Producer: Darci Griffith Gamerl https://www.downthepit.com https://camillezamora.com/cz30/ https://singforhope.com @singforhope @zamora_camille
29:09
August 16, 2021
Camille Zamora: Soprano extraordinaire & Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope (Part I)
We are very excited to share the 1st part of our conversation with the incredible soprano and citizen artist Camille Zamora. In this episode Camille will share some details about her childhood and her travels between Houston and Mexico, her relationship with classical music and other genres of music, Aspen Music Festival, remembering Ed Berkeley, the beauty and importance of simplicity, maintaining a healthy voice, soul and body, the behind the scenes of opera castings, equal representation in the field, warmups and decompressing routines, and why musicians need a skin of an elephant.  Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 Producer: Sami Merdinian Assistant Producer: Darci Griffith Gamerl  https://www.downthepit.com  https://camillezamora.com/cz30/
43:04
August 08, 2021
Music and Positive Social Change in Communities with Mary Javian (Part II)
In the 2nd and final part of our interview with Mary Javian, we talk about some of the landmarks in her career, some amazing organizations she is involved with like Project440 (https://project440.org) and Voces8 (https://voces8.com), founding and curating LiveConnections (https://worldcafelive.com), performing and coming back to some kind of normality post-pandemic, some incredible words of advice on how to prepare ourselves for the future and how to help communities heal through music. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 Producer: Sami Merdinian Assistant Producer: Darci Griffith Gamerl Mary Javian’s goal as a performer, educator, curator and public speaker is to use music to create positive social change in communities. She has presented around the world in these areas for nearly two decades. Ms. Javian has toured and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other world-class ensembles as a double bassist. She has served as principal bass of the IRIS Orchestra and has recorded with the Philadelphia and IRIS orchestras, the Tanglewood Music Center, Network for New Music, Dolce Suono Ensemble, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. She has performed recitals and given master classes in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Ms. Javian has received fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival, where she is now a member of the faculty. As chair of career studies at Curtis, Ms. Javian has created a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum that develops the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills that 21st-century musicians need. Her project-based classes help students create community partnerships that sustain both artistic and social value. Her students have gone on to start their own educational programs, innovative ensembles, and music festivals around the world. Ms. Javian is frequently asked to speak about social entrepreneurship and community-based work, and has contributed to several books on these subjects. She has presented at numerous universities and conservatories; has consulted with organizations such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival; and has led workshops for programs across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Ms. Javian currently serves on the boards of two music education nonprofits, Project 440 and the VOCES8 Foundation in the U.S.
47:60
July 29, 2021
Music and Positive Social Change in Communities with Mary Javian (Part I)
We are beyond excited to share the first part of our conversation with the incredible Mary Javian. In the episode we talk about her life in Philadelphia, using music to make a  positive impact in society, performing at the most prestigious stages as a bass player as well as bringing music to hospitals, prisons and the homeless, wearing many hats as a teaching artist and as a mom, her Philly cheesesteak recommendation and a very unique useless talent :)  Mary Javian’s goal as a performer, educator, curator and public speaker is to use music to create positive social change in communities. She has presented around the world in these areas for nearly two decades. Ms. Javian has toured and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other world-class ensembles as a double bassist. She has served as principal bass of the IRIS Orchestra and has recorded with the Philadelphia and IRIS orchestras, the Tanglewood Music Center, Network for New Music, Dolce Suono Ensemble, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. She has performed recitals and given master classes in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Ms. Javian has received fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival, where she is now a member of the faculty. As chair of career studies at Curtis, Ms. Javian has created a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum that develops the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills that 21st-century musicians need. Her project-based classes help students create community partnerships that sustain both artistic and social value. Her students have gone on to start their own educational programs, innovative ensembles, and music festivals around the world. Ms. Javian is frequently asked to speak about social entrepreneurship and community-based work, and has contributed to several books on these subjects. She has presented at numerous universities and conservatories; has consulted with organizations such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival; and has led workshops for programs across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Ms. Javian currently serves on the boards of two music education nonprofits, Project 440 and the VOCES8 Foundation in the U.S. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review the Podcast. A lot of work goes into bringing Down the Pit to you, and we would to know your thoughts on how we are doing! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 Producer: Sami Merdinian Assistant Producer: Darci Griffith Gamerl
39:37
July 18, 2021
Charles Yang: the 21st century classical Rockstar (Part II)
In part 2 of our conversation, we continue our conversation with violinist/singer-songwriter Charles Yang in which he talks about how he got into singing, the violin he plays on, crazy and boozy stories while on tour, #AsianHateCrime, the importance of friendship, his sources of inspiration, the future generation of artists, the future of "classical" music, and more. Please Subscribe, Rate, and Review us! We love to interact and get comments from our listeners. To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 Producer: Sami Merdinian Assistant Producer: Darci Griffith Gamerl
37:54
July 09, 2021
Charles Yang: the 21st century classical Rockstar (Part I)
Recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award, Juilliard graduate Charles Yang was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in concert in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. On June 9th of 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Mr. Yang with his own "Charles Yang Day".  In 2016 Mr. Yang joined the crossover string-band, Time for Three. We are so thrilled to share this first part of our super fun conversation with Charles in which he talks about growing up in Austin, having his mom as a teacher, his interests in different genres, being a bad kid, his life on tour, how he deals with nerves on stage, working remotely on a score for a film during the pandemic, and more. Please Subscribe, Rate us, and leave Comments to let us know how we are doing and with suggestions! To become a Down the Pit supporter for as little as $0.99/month, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836 Producer: Sami Merdinian Assistant Producer: Darci Griffith Gamerl
41:38
July 01, 2021
Anthony McGill: Classical Music Famous, Clarinet MVP (Part II)
Welcome to Season 2! Born and raised in Chicago, Anthony McGill has carved an incredible career and is one of the most influential figures in classical music. He is equally recognized as an orchestra musician, a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic after a decade with the Metropolitan Opera, he’s the first African-American principal player in the orchestra's history. By listening to Anthony throughout our conversation, you will get a sense of his humanity, his passion, his beliefs in the power of music, the importance of community and his great humor! Part 2 of the interview includes topics like performing for President Barack Obama's 2008 Inauguration, the Take Two Knees movement, the Met Orchestra, the NY Philharmonic and being the first African-American principal player of the orchestra, the similarities of playing his instrument and golf, and a lit more. Please Subscribe, Rate us, and leave Comments to let us know how we are doing and with suggestions! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
43:12
June 25, 2021
Anthony McGill: Classical Music Famous, Clarinet MVP (Part I)
Welcome to Season 2! Born and raised in Chicago, Anthony McGill has carved an incredible career and is one of the most influential figures in classical music. He is equally recognized as an orchestra musician, a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic after a decade with the Metropolitan Opera, he’s the first African-American principal player in the orchestra's history. By listening to Anthony throughout our conversation, you will get a sense of his humanity, his passion, his beliefs in the power of music, the importance of community and his great humor! Part 1 of 2 episodes, includes topics like his upbringings in Chicago's South Side, the importance of family, his orchestral audition experiences , his love for teaching, his inspirations, his work at The Juilliard School's Music Advancement Program where he serves as Artistic Director, the Avery Fisher Prize and so much more. Please Subscribe, Rate us, and leave Comments to let us know how we are doing and with suggestions! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
34:15
June 17, 2021
Trailer
Professional musicians Sami Merdinian and Ian Loew are the co-hosts of Down the Pit, a podcast series that delves into the world of classical music, bringing in leading conductors, composers, and performers to the show, to demystify, promote increased accessibility for the genre, and analyze its future. Each episode will have an incredible guest, and through casual and fun conversations, we will dive into their fascinating lives.  Season 2 starts on 6/16/2021 Please subscribe, rate and leave us a review. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.downthepit.com/sponsors Twitter, Instagram & TikTok: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
00:55
June 13, 2021
The Australian Guitar Hero: Scott Borg
In this episode we talk with Australian classical guitarist Scott Borg. Every artist has a story, and Scott's is a very interesting and unique one. In our conversation we talk about his upbringings in rural Australia, performing for cows, kangaroos vs camels, the shock of moving to NYC, ethics and being a good person, his exciting projects coming up, his revolutionary arrangements, sports and we learn a lot about the guitar world! Please subscribe, rate and leave us a review. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.downthepit.com/sponsors Twitter, Instagram & TikTok: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
01:08:38
March 05, 2021
Did I hear 60 Million? The captivating life of Carlos Tome
In today's episode, we talk with Carlos Tome, Director, Co-owner and Head of Sales at Tarisio. Carlos oversees all private sales of Tarisio’s New York and London offices and has played a major role in the critical success of recent auction sales, many of which set world records.  Some of the many topics we discuss includes growing up in his native Madrid, the difference of music education between Spain and the US, the cultural shock of moving to NYC, taking advantage of opportunities, the humanizing and healing power of music, finding inspiration in musicians' creativity, wearing different hats within the music industry, his dealings with customs, his dreams, his anecdotes, and a lot more. Please Subscribe, Rate us, and leave us Comments to let us know how we are doing and with suggestions! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
01:26:07
February 16, 2021
The rise of Daniela Candillari as one of opera's leading conductors
In today's episode, we talk with Daniela Candillari, Serbian-Slovenian Conductor and Composer whose charisma, work ethic, passion for music and musical intuition has brought her great recognition and catapulted her career, leading some fantastic opera productions around the world. — The Chicago Tribune writes: “Some of the most wondrous music-making emerged from the orchestra, conductor Daniela Candillari bringing forth poetically turned phrases and shimmering instrumental color.”  In our conversation we talk about her start in music in the ex-Yugoslavia, and her journey between Vienna, Indiana that led her to settle in NYC. We discuss her secrets to achieve memorable performances, some anecdotes about her life as a composer and conductor, as well as her mother bribing her to practice piano, the importance of always learning as much as humanly possible, her hobbies, how to win an orchestra over, and so much more. Please Follow us, Rate us, and leave your Comments! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
01:14:57
January 30, 2021
A Dean for the students with Thomas Masse
In today's episode, we talk with Thomas Masse, former Deputy Dean and Associate Provost for the Arts at Yale University and current professor at Stetson University. We discuss his journey, the many career paths in music, stories about his years at Yale, how to deal with negativity, the importance of mentorship, the future of classical music and much more.  Please Follow us, Rate us, and leave your Comments! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod Facebook: Down the Pit Co-hosts:  Sami Merdinian: @samimerdinian Ian Loew: @lunchmeat1836
01:25:40
January 11, 2021
Violinist Wayne Lin: the story behind the making of a Concertmaster
Growing up in a non-musical family and a community that revolves around its professional football team, violinist Wayne Lin shares his experiences  that led him to the Juilliard School and to currently being the acting Concertmaster of the Seoul Philharmonic in South Korea. Orchestra life, audition process, parenthood, a life of adjustments, and of course, some fun experiences, cheese curds and football in this "fiery" episode.  Please Follow us, Rate us, and leave your Comments!  To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Twitter & Instagram: @downthepit_pod  Facebook: Down the Pit
57:37
December 26, 2020
Louis Levitt: record label CEO, producer, founder of Sybarite5, bassist and entrepreneur
An entertaining episode in which our guest Louis Levitt shares with us his life as a musician with a business mentality. From founding chamber music groups like Sybarite5 and The Weeklies, to being a producer, and CEO of record label Bright Shiny Things, we explore topics like life on tour,  non vs for-profit worlds, how to be signed by a label, labeling classical music, and more. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian & Ian Loew Post-production: Chris Ellis Sponsor: U.S. PAVE
01:21:13
December 04, 2020
Mary Kouyoumdjian: Armenian-American Composer/Documentarian
Armenian-American composer Mary Kouyoumdjian talks about her music, her culture, her influences, her projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and films scores. Kronos Quartet, Atom Egoyan, social and political conflicts, race/gender equality and so much more in this riveting conversation. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. 00:00 Introduction 04:52 Electone organ, why music? 10:29 What would be your career if not a musician? 14:52 Integrating field recordings & folk tunes into music 17:00 Kronos Quartet and commissions 19:00 Discomfort in music 22:30 Composition process  27:25 Teaching at Colombia University, Brooklyn College, New School, Mannes Prep 38:38 Breaking moment of Mary's career 48:10 Gender issues  52:48 Conflict in Armenia; Genocide; Awareness 1:05:57 What inspires Mary? Co-hosts: Sami Merdinian & Ian Loew Post-production: Chris Ellis Sponsor: U.S. PAVE
01:16:10
November 26, 2020
Daniel Trahey: Musician, Educator and Innovator
Artistic Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “OrchKids” and founder of El Sistema inspired program “Tuned In” at the Peabody Conservatory, where he teaches creative composition and community engagement, Daniel Trahey is a pioneer and innovator in his field. In this entertaining conversation, we learn about his work, his views on music and education, his entrepreneurial skills, his use of music as a vehicle for social change, and a lot more! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit. https://www.danieltrahey.com/about http://orchkids.org/
01:37:33
November 18, 2020
Yves Dharamraj: Cellist, Educator, Innovator, Entrepreneur
Dr. Yves Dharamraj tells us about his career, his dreams, his views on the importance of music education, privilege in classical music, his work as a co-Executive Director of New Docta Festival, and much more! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://www.yvesdharamraj.com/
01:48:32
November 11, 2020
A young star: composer Shelbie Rassler
An entertaining chat with Shelbie Rassler, composer/arranger, conductor, multi-instrumentalist. The story behind the video that changed her life, how is it to be a student at The Juilliard School during COVID-19, her passion for education and altruism at such young age, a surprise phone call from a very important person, and much more. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://maestramusic.org/profile/shelbie-rassler/
59:42
November 01, 2020
Arthur Sato: Oboist, Contractor, Consultant and Music Educator
Arthur Sato shares his life as a NYC freelancer, as an educator. He tells us some great stories about being a contractor, how his heritage has shaped who he is, his involvement in the production of Mozart in the Jungle, his love for the Portland Trail Blazers, and so much more on this great episode! To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthur-sato-9108559
01:44:44
October 27, 2020
Jennifer Arnold: Violist and Director of Artistic Planning and Orchestral Operations of the Richmond Symphony
Growing up in Cleveland, diversity in music, American orchestras, music publishers, accessibility, orchestral programming, the Sphinx Organization, and so many more topics are part of this fun and fascinating interview with Jennifer Arnold.  To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://vlajma.wixsite.com/jenniferarnoldviola https://www.richmondsymphony.com
01:30:02
October 21, 2020
Nathan Schram: Violist, Composer and Entrepreneur
Nathan is a composer, entrepreneur, and violist of the GRAMMY Award-winning  Attacca Quartet. In this episode, he shares his experiences juggling a career in chamber music, as a composer, his new "normal" during the pandemic, and his work as Executive Director of Musicambia, a non-for-profit that uses the power of music to build supportive communities where incarcerated individuals can build human connections, engage in learning and rebuild their lives. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://www.nathanschramnoise.com/ http://musicambia.org/ http://www.attaccaquartet.com/
01:30:54
October 13, 2020
Hollywood Recording Cellist Jacob Braun
 Jacob Braun talks about growing up in the Boston area, his love for sports, fun anecdotes as a touring musician, and detailed insight of the fascinating life of being a recording soloist in Hollywood, collaborating with some of the biggest names in the industry like John Williams, and being part of some of the biggest blockbusters. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://www.jacobbrauncello.com/
01:20:08
October 07, 2020
American Conductor Tito Munoz
A captivating chat with one the most gifted American conductors of his generation. Currently in his 6th season as Artistic Director of Phoenix Symphony, in this episode,  Tito shares his views on a number of topics including public education in NYC, the state of American Orchestras, diversity, equity and much more. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit http://titomunoz.com/ https://www.phoenixsymphony.org/musicians/tito-munoz
01:50:44
September 30, 2020
A Conversation with Wei-Jen Yuan
In this episode, Wei-Jen Yuan tells of his unique experience transitioning from a career as a professional concert pianist into the world of investment banking. With an undergraduate degree  in Music Performance from Harvard University and a graduate degree in Piano Performance from Yale University, Wei-Jen explores how his musical training aids him to excel in finance and investments with Snowcat Capital Management. To become a Down the Pit supporter, please visit www.Anchor.FM/Down-the-Pit https://www.linkedin.com/in/wei-jen-yuan-8bb7458
01:36:00
September 23, 2020