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A Musical Life with Hugh Sung

Hugh Sung

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A Musical Life with Hugh Sung
A Musical Life with Hugh Sung

A Musical Life with Hugh Sung

Hugh Sung

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About Us

Pianist Hugh Sung shares stories, songs, and interviews with musicians from a wide variety of genres, including Classical, Folk, Rock, Jazz, and beyond. Visit http://amusicallife.com for all episodes and show notes.New episodes coming every Monday.

Latest Episodes

Temple Music Prep

Temple University’s Music Preparatory Division, or “Temple Music Prep” for short, is a program located in the heart of center city, Philadelphia, that provides high quality, non-credit music and dance instruction, and related activities to the Community on behalf of the Boyer College of Music and Dance, and Temple University at-large. World-renowned violinists Sarah Chang and Elena Urioste, as well as several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra share something in common: they were all participants of Temple Music Prep. I also started my own professional career right after graduating from Curtis as a theory teacher and chamber music coach at Temple Music Prep. To this day, I’m not sure who had more fun in my theory classes - the kids jumping up and down on the shaving cream staff lines I painted on the floor or the parents laughing outside my class! Anyway, I digress. This month, Temple Music Prep will be celebrating 30 years of excellence with a series of performances featurin...

64 MIN2017 MAY 1
Comments
Temple Music Prep

Jeff Russo, Composer, Songwriter, and founding member of Tonic

Jeff Russo was one of the two founding members of the rock band “Tonic”, perhaps best known for their number one hit in the 90s, “If You Could Only See”. Nowadays, Jeff is in demand as a TV and film composer, having scored music for hit shows like “Fargo”, “American Gothic”, and can currently be heard on the new FX Marvel series, “Legion”. Welcome to A Musical Life. I’m Hugh Sung. Jeff Russo is a two-time GRAMMY and Emmy-nominated musician who taught himself to play the guitar as a child before going on to become one of the founding members of the multi-platinum selling rock band, “Tonic”. Their debut album, “Lemon Parade”, posted three singles in the U.S. Mainstream rock Charts’ Top 10 back in 1996, with the song, “If You Could Only See,” rocketing to number one. Jeff is now a highly sought-after film and TV composer, having scored the music to the new show “Legion” based on Marvel’s mutant comic book characters and currently airing on FX. He’s currently worki...

42 MIN2017 MAR 20
Comments
Jeff Russo, Composer, Songwriter, and founding member of Tonic

David Hart, Guitarist and Entrepreneur

David Hart is the developer of the G4 Guitar Method, a method based on his two decades of teaching and opening schools throughout Australia. David’s G4 method not only teaches students the 7 essential skills of guitar playing - it also teaches teachers how to become entrepreneurs and open their own schools, as evidenced by the 50 franchises of the G4 Guitar method around the world. For most musicians, “sales” is a dirty word. “Art” and “business” are concepts that mix about as well as water and oil in their minds. But for David Hart, the business of music education is all about helping students succeed in becoming better players and teaching teachers essential entrepreneurial skills to grow and keep their student base. David himself learned to play the guitar in the early 1980's and spent many years performing on the Australian music scene in various cover bands as well as solo performances as a singer/songwriter. David discovered his passion for teaching at an early age, ope...

63 MIN2017 MAR 13
Comments
David Hart, Guitarist and Entrepreneur

Carol Jantsch, Principal Tubist of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Carol Jantsch became the first female tuba player to win a major symphony orchestra position while she was still a senior attending the University of Michigan back in 2006. In addition to her duties as principal tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Carol has been active as a tuba soloist, appearing in recital and in concerto settings with orchestras and ensembles around the world, and now has started her own tuba cover band called “Tubular”. Carol Jantsch is a stunning virtuoso musician, which is perhaps even more remarkable for the fact that she performs on an instrument that isn’t typically known for its virtuoso capabilities. As you’ll hear in this interview, Carol thrives on hearing folks exclaim, “I never knew the tuba could sound like that!” I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Carol after a reading rehearsal together, and learned that she is not only a musical virtuoso, but between her varied interests in ultimate frisbee, distance running, reading voraciously...

67 MIN2017 MAR 6
Comments
Carol Jantsch, Principal Tubist of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Sara Davis Buechner

Sara Davis Buechner has been hailed by The New York Times for her “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess”. As one of the leading keyboard artists of our time, Sara has an active repertoire of over 100 piano concertos and has appeared with prominent orchestras all over the world. Sara was recently appointed to the piano faculty at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance, in Philadelphia. Sara Davis Buechner first came to prominence as David Buechner, winning the gold medal in the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and a Bronze Medal in the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. Incidentally, as a result of being the only medal winner to perform on a Yamaha piano at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, David was invited to tour Japan, and subsequently became the first American Yamaha artist. In 1998, David came out as Sara Davis Buechner, and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2002. Now res...

65 MIN2017 FEB 27
Comments
Sara Davis Buechner

Sam Rao, Developer of Practicia

Sam Rao is a multi-discipline musician, entrepreneur, and developer of Practicia, an innovative app platform that helps students and teachers make practicing more fun and productive. As a musician, Sam studied composition and conducting at Oberlin Conservatory and the Aspen Festival. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded his own music school which grew to be one of the largest in Northern Ohio. Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, and no doubt you’ve heard the old adage, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice”. Ah, but practicing a musical instrument can be the bane of any student and a frustrating topic for teachers and parents alike. I’ll confess, I hated practicing the piano as a kid (and I still hate it as a professional). It’s just one of those “necessary evils” that you have to suck up and do, just like eating your veggies or sticking to your exercise plan, right? As a music educator himself and the co-founder of one of the largest music schoo...

54 MIN2017 FEB 20
Comments
Sam Rao, Developer of Practicia

Roger Ideishi, Occupational Therapist and Arts Advocate

Roger Ideishi is the Director of Occupational Therapy at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has worked to provide community access and opportunities for children with diverse sensory and cognitive abilities. Roger has worked with such arts organizations as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Philadelphia Ballet Company and The Philadelphia Orchestra to help them build meaningful learning experiences for special needs children and their families. In many art performance experiences, such as the theater, the ballet, or a classical concert, there is an implicit expectation that audiences are supposed to remain silent and only express their appreciation through applause at appropriate moments. But for folks with sensory and cognitive challenges, such as Autism, it can be difficult to interpret the complex social cues in an artistic environment, and as a result, they can feel shunned, isolated, and disconnected from these communal experiences. Than...

49 MIN2017 FEB 13
Comments
Roger Ideishi, Occupational Therapist and Arts Advocate

Eleanor Sokoloff, Legendary Piano Pedagogue

Eleanor Sokoloff has been teaching piano at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia since 1936. At the ripe young age of 102, she shows no sign of slowing down. Some of her most esteemed students have included the likes of Keith Jarrett, Lambert Orkis, Susan Starr, Leon McCawley, Meng-Chieh Liu, and countless others. This year, Eleanor Sokoloff will be turning 103 years old, and remarkably, she is still teaching piano at The Curtis Institute of Music and pouring tea at one of Curtis’ most beloved weekly Wednesday tea time traditions. This interview was originally recorded 2 ½ years ago as a 2 part video that was significantly edited down for time purposes, but thanks to the long form medium of podcasts, I thought it would be fitting to provide the full version of this wonderful interview with one of the most important piano teachers of our time. By the way, Mrs. Sokoloff was my piano teacher when I was 8 years old, and thanks to her I was able to enroll at Curtis under her t...

73 MIN2017 FEB 6
Comments
Eleanor Sokoloff, Legendary Piano Pedagogue

Steven Hackman, Composer, Conductor, Arranger, and Producer

Steven Hackman is one of the most exciting hybrid classical and pop artists on the scene today. Steve has worked extensively with the hit classical crossover group, Time for Three, writing several of their unique arrangements, and is currently the Creative Director of FUSE at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the 'Mash-Up' series at the Colorado Music Festival, and founder and creative director of his own music brand :STEREO HIDEOUT: I first met Steve as a young conducting student at the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music, studying under the legendary maestro Otto Werner-Mueller. But while he was pursuing serious classical music studies, he had a secret passion. One day, I happened to be walking by some of the basement practice rooms, and heard the most amazing pop piano and vocals coming out from one of them. You guessed it - it was Steve, who has an amazing voice, and is an incredible pop songwriter in his own right. As a conductor, Steve went on to work with th...

60 MIN2017 JAN 30
Comments
Steven Hackman, Composer, Conductor, Arranger, and Producer

Chad Seiter, Movie, TV and Videogame Composer

Chad Seiter has composed and produced original music for several major Hollywood franchises such as Star Trek, Fringe, and Lost. He is also Composer, Music Director and Associate Executive Producer for Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions and The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses touring concert series performing symphonic arrangements of classic Nintendo scores with hundreds of the world’s leading orchestras. Chad Seiter is one of those composers lucky enough to create music that encompasses his passions for movies, TV and video games. Chad started his career as an assistant to Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, and has produced music for some top video game titles, such as the 2013 ‘Star Trek’ video game based on J.J. Abrams’ reboot film, and 2016’s ‘ReCore’ from Microsoft studios. A die-hard retro gamer himself, Chad’s symphonic arrangements of themes from classic NIntendo games has been a huge success, and a great way to attract new audiences who have n...

64 MIN2017 JAN 23
Comments
Chad Seiter, Movie, TV and Videogame Composer

Latest Episodes

Temple Music Prep

Temple University’s Music Preparatory Division, or “Temple Music Prep” for short, is a program located in the heart of center city, Philadelphia, that provides high quality, non-credit music and dance instruction, and related activities to the Community on behalf of the Boyer College of Music and Dance, and Temple University at-large. World-renowned violinists Sarah Chang and Elena Urioste, as well as several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra share something in common: they were all participants of Temple Music Prep. I also started my own professional career right after graduating from Curtis as a theory teacher and chamber music coach at Temple Music Prep. To this day, I’m not sure who had more fun in my theory classes - the kids jumping up and down on the shaving cream staff lines I painted on the floor or the parents laughing outside my class! Anyway, I digress. This month, Temple Music Prep will be celebrating 30 years of excellence with a series of performances featurin...

64 MIN2017 MAY 1
Comments
Temple Music Prep

Jeff Russo, Composer, Songwriter, and founding member of Tonic

Jeff Russo was one of the two founding members of the rock band “Tonic”, perhaps best known for their number one hit in the 90s, “If You Could Only See”. Nowadays, Jeff is in demand as a TV and film composer, having scored music for hit shows like “Fargo”, “American Gothic”, and can currently be heard on the new FX Marvel series, “Legion”. Welcome to A Musical Life. I’m Hugh Sung. Jeff Russo is a two-time GRAMMY and Emmy-nominated musician who taught himself to play the guitar as a child before going on to become one of the founding members of the multi-platinum selling rock band, “Tonic”. Their debut album, “Lemon Parade”, posted three singles in the U.S. Mainstream rock Charts’ Top 10 back in 1996, with the song, “If You Could Only See,” rocketing to number one. Jeff is now a highly sought-after film and TV composer, having scored the music to the new show “Legion” based on Marvel’s mutant comic book characters and currently airing on FX. He’s currently worki...

42 MIN2017 MAR 20
Comments
Jeff Russo, Composer, Songwriter, and founding member of Tonic

David Hart, Guitarist and Entrepreneur

David Hart is the developer of the G4 Guitar Method, a method based on his two decades of teaching and opening schools throughout Australia. David’s G4 method not only teaches students the 7 essential skills of guitar playing - it also teaches teachers how to become entrepreneurs and open their own schools, as evidenced by the 50 franchises of the G4 Guitar method around the world. For most musicians, “sales” is a dirty word. “Art” and “business” are concepts that mix about as well as water and oil in their minds. But for David Hart, the business of music education is all about helping students succeed in becoming better players and teaching teachers essential entrepreneurial skills to grow and keep their student base. David himself learned to play the guitar in the early 1980's and spent many years performing on the Australian music scene in various cover bands as well as solo performances as a singer/songwriter. David discovered his passion for teaching at an early age, ope...

63 MIN2017 MAR 13
Comments
David Hart, Guitarist and Entrepreneur

Carol Jantsch, Principal Tubist of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Carol Jantsch became the first female tuba player to win a major symphony orchestra position while she was still a senior attending the University of Michigan back in 2006. In addition to her duties as principal tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Carol has been active as a tuba soloist, appearing in recital and in concerto settings with orchestras and ensembles around the world, and now has started her own tuba cover band called “Tubular”. Carol Jantsch is a stunning virtuoso musician, which is perhaps even more remarkable for the fact that she performs on an instrument that isn’t typically known for its virtuoso capabilities. As you’ll hear in this interview, Carol thrives on hearing folks exclaim, “I never knew the tuba could sound like that!” I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Carol after a reading rehearsal together, and learned that she is not only a musical virtuoso, but between her varied interests in ultimate frisbee, distance running, reading voraciously...

67 MIN2017 MAR 6
Comments
Carol Jantsch, Principal Tubist of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Sara Davis Buechner

Sara Davis Buechner has been hailed by The New York Times for her “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess”. As one of the leading keyboard artists of our time, Sara has an active repertoire of over 100 piano concertos and has appeared with prominent orchestras all over the world. Sara was recently appointed to the piano faculty at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance, in Philadelphia. Sara Davis Buechner first came to prominence as David Buechner, winning the gold medal in the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and a Bronze Medal in the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. Incidentally, as a result of being the only medal winner to perform on a Yamaha piano at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, David was invited to tour Japan, and subsequently became the first American Yamaha artist. In 1998, David came out as Sara Davis Buechner, and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2002. Now res...

65 MIN2017 FEB 27
Comments
Sara Davis Buechner

Sam Rao, Developer of Practicia

Sam Rao is a multi-discipline musician, entrepreneur, and developer of Practicia, an innovative app platform that helps students and teachers make practicing more fun and productive. As a musician, Sam studied composition and conducting at Oberlin Conservatory and the Aspen Festival. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded his own music school which grew to be one of the largest in Northern Ohio. Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, and no doubt you’ve heard the old adage, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice”. Ah, but practicing a musical instrument can be the bane of any student and a frustrating topic for teachers and parents alike. I’ll confess, I hated practicing the piano as a kid (and I still hate it as a professional). It’s just one of those “necessary evils” that you have to suck up and do, just like eating your veggies or sticking to your exercise plan, right? As a music educator himself and the co-founder of one of the largest music schoo...

54 MIN2017 FEB 20
Comments
Sam Rao, Developer of Practicia

Roger Ideishi, Occupational Therapist and Arts Advocate

Roger Ideishi is the Director of Occupational Therapy at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has worked to provide community access and opportunities for children with diverse sensory and cognitive abilities. Roger has worked with such arts organizations as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Philadelphia Ballet Company and The Philadelphia Orchestra to help them build meaningful learning experiences for special needs children and their families. In many art performance experiences, such as the theater, the ballet, or a classical concert, there is an implicit expectation that audiences are supposed to remain silent and only express their appreciation through applause at appropriate moments. But for folks with sensory and cognitive challenges, such as Autism, it can be difficult to interpret the complex social cues in an artistic environment, and as a result, they can feel shunned, isolated, and disconnected from these communal experiences. Than...

49 MIN2017 FEB 13
Comments
Roger Ideishi, Occupational Therapist and Arts Advocate

Eleanor Sokoloff, Legendary Piano Pedagogue

Eleanor Sokoloff has been teaching piano at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia since 1936. At the ripe young age of 102, she shows no sign of slowing down. Some of her most esteemed students have included the likes of Keith Jarrett, Lambert Orkis, Susan Starr, Leon McCawley, Meng-Chieh Liu, and countless others. This year, Eleanor Sokoloff will be turning 103 years old, and remarkably, she is still teaching piano at The Curtis Institute of Music and pouring tea at one of Curtis’ most beloved weekly Wednesday tea time traditions. This interview was originally recorded 2 ½ years ago as a 2 part video that was significantly edited down for time purposes, but thanks to the long form medium of podcasts, I thought it would be fitting to provide the full version of this wonderful interview with one of the most important piano teachers of our time. By the way, Mrs. Sokoloff was my piano teacher when I was 8 years old, and thanks to her I was able to enroll at Curtis under her t...

73 MIN2017 FEB 6
Comments
Eleanor Sokoloff, Legendary Piano Pedagogue

Steven Hackman, Composer, Conductor, Arranger, and Producer

Steven Hackman is one of the most exciting hybrid classical and pop artists on the scene today. Steve has worked extensively with the hit classical crossover group, Time for Three, writing several of their unique arrangements, and is currently the Creative Director of FUSE at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the 'Mash-Up' series at the Colorado Music Festival, and founder and creative director of his own music brand :STEREO HIDEOUT: I first met Steve as a young conducting student at the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music, studying under the legendary maestro Otto Werner-Mueller. But while he was pursuing serious classical music studies, he had a secret passion. One day, I happened to be walking by some of the basement practice rooms, and heard the most amazing pop piano and vocals coming out from one of them. You guessed it - it was Steve, who has an amazing voice, and is an incredible pop songwriter in his own right. As a conductor, Steve went on to work with th...

60 MIN2017 JAN 30
Comments
Steven Hackman, Composer, Conductor, Arranger, and Producer

Chad Seiter, Movie, TV and Videogame Composer

Chad Seiter has composed and produced original music for several major Hollywood franchises such as Star Trek, Fringe, and Lost. He is also Composer, Music Director and Associate Executive Producer for Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions and The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses touring concert series performing symphonic arrangements of classic Nintendo scores with hundreds of the world’s leading orchestras. Chad Seiter is one of those composers lucky enough to create music that encompasses his passions for movies, TV and video games. Chad started his career as an assistant to Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, and has produced music for some top video game titles, such as the 2013 ‘Star Trek’ video game based on J.J. Abrams’ reboot film, and 2016’s ‘ReCore’ from Microsoft studios. A die-hard retro gamer himself, Chad’s symphonic arrangements of themes from classic NIntendo games has been a huge success, and a great way to attract new audiences who have n...

64 MIN2017 JAN 23
Comments
Chad Seiter, Movie, TV and Videogame Composer
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