Before I was born, my mother was the children’s chorus conductor at Covent Garden Opera House. While on holiday in mainland Europe, she met my dad, a young tenor studying voice in Rome. Needless to say, growing up, there was a lot of music in our home. I was raised on the “other” coast: California. I think the laissez-faire culture of the West Coast helped me develop a more laid-back approach to life. I try to live one day at a time, and relax and take it easy.
This approach to life is especially evident in my choice of where to live: my beautiful wife, Amy, and two kids—Hannah and Ian—decided to make our residence on our 46-foot Silverton aft-cabin motor yacht, docked in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore. We named the boat “Spiorad,” which is Gaellic for “Spirit.” There’s not a lot of room in our floating house for extra “stuff”—but we don’t need that anyway! We have each other and music—what more do we need?
I also attribute my approach to life, as well as to music, to my teacher, Dave Krehbiel, the former Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony. I was hooked on playing horn from the moment I heard him perform with the Napa Symphony. From then on, I practiced obsessively. He taught me how the horn is supposed to sound and also how to think about playing and life in general.