I am the founding music director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra.
Why do you live/work in Philly?
Philadelphia, from a classical music standpoint, has an incredible, rich history. The Philadelphia Orchestra is world famous, so many innovative things in classical music have happened here. And I thought for the next phase of innovation, in the 21st century, to have a really diverse, connected classical music orchestra, I thought this would be the best place to start. Philadelphia is truly the city of brotherly love, people are, I’ve found, really nice on the street here, they’ll stop and help you out with directions, they’re more than willing to talk about their own neighborhoods
Where do you live in Philly? Describe your neighborhood.
Mt. Airy. It's got a lot of large stone colonial style homes, brick homes, and a very diverse community within a small geographic area. Diverse in terms of the racial mix, and income levels as well. Plus, there’s just a real sense of community. I think everybody really knows their neighbors and there’s just really a sense of being together, there. It has a real strong history outside the charm of just the cobblestone streets.
How does Philly compare to other cities?
I’ve lived all over the country due to my dad’s job. I’ve lived in Arizona, Seattle, Washington, Illinois, in Omaha. Philadelphia has this really unique mix of this huge metropolitan mixture of people, businesses and cultures and knowing your neighbors, knowing your community, being able to go out and find a great time in the city and run into your friends without really planning on it.
What is something you wouldn't know about Philly unless you lived here?
It’s one of the most European cities in this country. Chicago, for instance, is really straight, north and east and west, a grid system. We have that in Philadelphia, too, but because it’s older, we have narrower streets, you have a lot of these row homes, called trinities that are very narrow and kind of have a sense of a street in London or a street in Paris or something like that, and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is very beautiful, you have the Philadelphia Museum of Art right on the end and all those flags and the Rodin Museum that flanks it and the Franklin Institute and all these great cultural institutions along this magnificent, beautiful boulevard with Eakins Oval at the top and all of those beautiful sculptures there and it’s just a beautiful American European type of city.