Featured Faculty Member of the Week / Amy Oshiro-Morales

Amy Oshiro-Morales / Violinist / The Philadelphia Orchestra

Amy Oshiro-MoralesAmy Oshiro-Morales joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in January of 2008. Previously, Ms. Oshiro-Morales was assistant concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony, associate concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony, and assistant concertmaster of the Grant Park (IL) Orchestra.

She has also performed as a guest musician with the New York Philharmonic. Ms.Oshiro-Morales made her debut with the Chicago Symphony at the age of twelve and has appeared numerous times as a soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Napa Valley Symphony, the Minnesota Sinfonia, and others.

Ms. Oshiro-Morales has collaborated with such artists as Vadim Repin, Alban Gerhardt, Jason Vieaux, and Gil Shaham. Ms. Oshiro-Morales studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at Oberlin Conservatory, where she received the Dean’s Talent Award scholarship.

Amy continued her studies at The Juilliard School with Robert Mann, the founder and former first violinist of the Juilliard Quartet. Ms. Oshiro-Morales has been a guest artist at the Sun Valley Summer (ID) Symphony, the Cactus Pear Music Festival (TX), and the Grand Teton Music Festival (WY), among others.

We are continuing our conversation with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra about their beginnings in music, their inspirations and aspirations. Please join us each week to see many of your new favorites featured right here!

Q: What is your all-time, favorite movie?
When Harry met Sally is pretty high up there. And so is The Princess Bride

Q: What CD are you currently listening to?
“Sing along with Elmo” with my 3 year old daughter.

Q: Is there a genre of music, other than classical, that makes your spirit soar?
I enjoy rock, especially by women singer/songwriters. Shawn Colvin is one of my faves!

Q: Who else in your family is musical?
In my immediate family, no one really, although my sister did study violin intensely until college. In my husband’s family, everyone!

Q: Who first introduced you to your instrument? What do you remember about the experience?
My parents had me start the violin w hen I w as 2 1/2 years old for many reasons that were non-musical. They had no idea what it was going to do to my life.

Q: What is your all-time favorite piece (to play, to listen to, etc.)?
I love any and all Richard Strauss works, especially Four Last Songs. I also love the chamber orchestral version of Verklarte Nacht by Arnold Schoenberg.

Q: What is it that you like most about this piece?
Richard Strauss has a tonality that is so rich and dense and singing and it really speaks to me.

Q: What is your perfect family dinner night?
Eating out at a fabulous Korean BBQ restaurant and eating tons of kalbi. I’m Japanese, but Korean food is my favorite.

Q: Do you always have music on your mind?
Nope. My husband does so someone in our house has to be thinking about other things!

Q: What do you most enjoy teaching?
I love teaching concertos and romantic repertoire. It makes one really have to “play out” and sound expressive.

Q: What changes would you implement at a grade school level to instill a greater interest in music studies?
I would require music lessons of some sort and make a music class part of the regular curriculum expectations like math, reading and science.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do w hen not performing?
I love being with my 3 year old daughter w ho is so innocent and sweet and lately, a little clever. I also enjoy taking a whole afternoon to shop for myself and for my household. I don’t get to do that very often these days so I really relish them.

Q: When did you first know that you w anted to be a professional musician?
I knew it w hen I w as 11 or 12 years old and things (practicing, performing, and competing) got pretty serious. I didn’t quite know w hat it meant to become a professional musician, but I wanted to go in that direction for sure.

Q: Do you still get nervous before a performance, and if so – how do you cope?
I still get nervous before solos and chamber performances, but not as much as I did w hen I w as a student. I try to prepare (practice) as much as I can before the performance date so I’m not surprised by much.

Q: What is the most unusual musical gig in which you have ever participated?
I performed in China with an orchestra of students that played only Chinese musical instruments (many of which I’ve never seen before) and there were really no western instruments in the band w hat-so-ever. I played a melody line that was also played by the erhus in the Orchestra!

Q: If you could be anything else in the world, what would it be?
Some career that is science related, I guess.

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