Dakota Kievman considers herself a performer who teaches, not a teacher who performs, hence her small teaching studio. Besides leading a busy schedule of rehearsing in her chamber music groups and as principal second violinist in an orchestra, she also hosts a weekly online Q&A session through Twitch, live-streamed on her YouTube channel and Facebook. She has a few teaching spots open. Her interview with Applause will be released on March 31st. Below are some Q&As from us about her –
WHAT EDUCATION HAVE YOU COMPLETED AND WHAT AGE DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A MUSICIAN?
I received my bachelor’s in music from Mason Gross School of the Arts and am in my final semester of my master’s degree at Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia.
I am currently in the process of applying for either an Artist Diploma or DMA. I have been playing the violin since I was 2 years old, so it has been a part of me for basically my entire life. Early in college I considered other careers but quickly realized I wasn’t happy not pursuing music. When I didn’t have time to play or practice, I began craving it and that’s when my desire to become a professional musician was solidified, although I think I always knew.
WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU?
As a classical musician, musicality is my strength. Perhaps because I started at such a young age, the musical interpretations come naturally to me. The difficult part is sorting out which techniques will amplify that vision. Over the past few years, the array of technical ability that I have gained has been wonderful for my ability as a performer. I have more tools to communicate what I’m saying and my emotions and visions to my audience. It is a little backwards actually, many musicians begin with the technical ability which translates to musical ability. I’ve had to learn to work backward. Music is my greatest form of communication; it is a bit cliché but there are feelings and ideas that I experience through music that I could never communicate in any other way.
WHAT CAREER SUCCESSES ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF HAVING ACCOMPLISHED? WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT GOALS?
I am proud of my latest work with Lambert Orkis, he coached my friend and colleague Maria (piano) and I in our latest performance together. I think the process opened up a whole new realm of understanding music for me and getting closer to working as one instrument in a chamber music setting. I have a deep love for chamber music and hope to make that a large part of my career.
I actually can tie this into the last question, I am so proud of myself for fighting my performance anxiety, leaving the stable income, and going back to doing what I love and can’t live without. A
couple of years ago, I had my first live solo performance since I left the stage. That concert is very dear to my heart.
Upcoming goals include the launch of my live stream and YouTube channel. I will also be receiving my master’s degree in a few months and that is a huge milestone for me. I also just got my first electric violin and other equipment I need to dabble in other genres which I am really excited about! Although I will never leave the classical music world, I think it’s important to expand skills and diversify interests. I hope to share my first compositions in the near future (we will see how it goes)! I would like to put together a chamber ensemble when I leave school and organize some local and live-streamed concerts next summer, both solo and chamber.
IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES THROUGH YOUR MUSIC CAREER?
I love impacting the emotions of my audience, allowing them to experience what they will in their heads while the room is silent and my violin is the only sound. I think there’s something so meditative and special about the concert experience that I wish could be accessible to all people. I hope to make that possible, sharing how that experience can be so wonderful to those who may “not like” classical music or who might not have access to it. I also have some top secret plans to help music education become more accessible as well. I also hope one day to help those who are experiencing the kind of performance anxiety that I experienced.
This movement is held so close to my heart. The piece holds so much conflict in dynamic, color, and mood, yet it simultaneously holds a continuity that reveals a story. Though the music holds a sense of loneliness and sadness, it holds onto a glimmer of hope throughout its entirety.
We rehearsed this piece throughout the pandemic, as time passed I realized the relatability to the situation at hand, not only with this piece but with the entire program which contained Mozart 301 and 302 as well as the first movement of the Bruch violin concerto and Brahms Hungarian Dance No 2. The program began to unfold as a journey through 2020 which I will release in its entirety shortly.
This movement in particular represented the period of time when the pandemic was realized, and quarantine began. You will see there is a prologue to this and an epilogue in the movements surrounding it.
Current events aside, Maria and I work so well together as an ensemble, we truly become one instrument throughout this concert, collaborating rather than accompanying. The first half of the concert is up on my YouTube and the second half will be released in mid-January.
Learn more about Dakota Kievman:
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