Jessica Lambert: I am so very happy to have Grace with Amici! As we have started our Schumann Quintet rehearsals I want to say that one of the things I admire about Grace’s playing is the singing quality of her phrasing. She has an extraordinary sense of line and breath which shapes her playing of even the simplest melody. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Grace for a short interview.
A – I will be performing Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with my husband Wonkak Kim along with another New York based husband-wife group, Schroeder-Umansky Duo, in January 2020. We are performing as a part of the Holocaust Memorial organized by the NYC’s Sheen Center. The unique collaboration of the two husband-wife duo as well as playing this masterpiece at this important event is truly exciting!
Q – Describe a typical day in your life.
A – I prepare the morning routine for my family and drop off my daughter Tayeon at her Montessori. I then try to find a few hours to do house chores and some practicing. I usually end up with several rehearsals/coaching with various instrumentalists ranging from high school students to professional musicians in and out of town. After picking up my daughter and entertaining her a bit, I usually have dinner with my husband and Tayeon. We really enjoy cooking at home, but when we are in a certain mood, we also like to explore the increasingly interesting dining scene around Eugene and beyond.
Q – When did you start playing chamber music and why is it important to you?
A – I first seriously playing chamber music as a Master’s student in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music program at Florida State University. I got to meet and interact with so many different musicians and friends, and that have given me lasting impact in both my musical and personal lives. Today, the chamber music is where my musical heart truly lies.
Q – What are your non-musical hobbies?
A – I recently started flower arranging along with a group of close friends. It is led by a friend who spent many years as a professional florist. I also enjoy baking, and the frequency of my baking has recently redoubled!
Q – Can you tell us something about your best teachers and what you learned from them?
A – I am so lucky to have studied with Dr. Caroline Bridger a pioneering pedagogue of collaborative piano and immensely kind soul. She has taught me how music should be explored and communicated with as much open mind and sincerity as technical mastery, etc. She always showed such example herself both in her teaching and playing, and I try to carry her legacy in every musical endeavor I lead.