A great music director knows that communication is key and understands the importance of being flexible while always maintaining the integrity of the show. It's all about timing and recognizing how and when to tastefully blend hip-hop and opera or when to pound those keys for some rock n’ roll. It’s how I approach everything I do as a music director, composer, and recording artist.
Growing up, I was surrounded by musicians. My mother was a highly-respected voice teacher who used to be a soloist in the Crimean State Philharmonic. She met my father there, a bass player and actor, and together they toured the world before I was born. And so, I learned to read and write music before learning my ABCs.
By my mother’s side is where I learned to be a strong pianist with an ear for rhythm and how to play and accompany like a full band. Learning to follow vocalists while understanding how they breathe and what they need for support allowed me to translate this kind of intrinsic care and musicianship into all of my projects. It also taught me how to expand my skills onstage as a performer.
After being classically trained at the Moscow Music Conservatory of Tchaikovsky Pre-School, I also studied conducting and orchestration at Juilliard, and hold a sound recording degree from the School of Sound and Audio Engineering.
This extensive background gives me the ability to play all genres including hip-hop, gospel, classical, rock, blues, rap, opera, jazz with an affinity and passion for each, as well as multiple instruments such as piano, celesta, melodica, hand percussion - and even an accordion, if called upon - as well as lead and background vocals.
I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with some of the most talented artists in the business, including Leslie Odom Jr., Billy Porter, Jake Gyllenhaal, Brooke Shields, Renée Fleming, Tituss Burgess, Zara Larsson, Deborah Cox, Ryan Silverman, Nikki James, Cuba Gooding Sr., and many more.
As a composer and arranger, my skill set and experience to think like an orchestrator allows me to adjust quickly and stay flexible within any genre and communicate effectively with any member of the production team - from director to choreographer to a singer who possibly doesn’t know how to read music.