Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
My father is a world-class piano improviser, and my mother is a lyricist and children’s book author. I was surrounded by music my entire life, and began playing the piano at the age of three. Looking back, it was almost inevitable that I would eventually become a composer.
Who or what were the most important influences on your musical life and career?
My grandfather was my greatest mentor. He instilled in me a sense of drive, conviction, and integrity both personally and and professionally. Compositionally speaking, my greatest mentors have been my father, Steven Schoenberg, Robert Beaser, and John Corigliano. Bob and John were my teachers while at Juilliard.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
As composers, we are always looking to build relationships with performers, conductors, and performing arts organizations. There is a fine balance in terms of how one goes about navigating this path. For me, the greatest challenge has been learning to accept when someone simply does not respond to my voice and/or aesthetic. Art is subjective, but that is sometimes difficult to remember when you truly believe in a piece.
Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?
My current CD that was released on Inauguration Day. I believe that as a society we are entering a very dark time in our history. I hope that my music can help bring a little more beauty and optimism into our world.