I picked up a viola for the first time when I was in third grade—everyone else in my class had chosen the violin or the cello, but I was determined to be different. So I picked the viola. For the next ten years, I played classical viola, exclusively. But, eventually, that whole “determined to be different” thing got back to me: I swapped my viola for a fiddle, dropped out of college, and started playing folk music. Since then, I’ve become a student of so many incredible traditions and cultures, and I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know the music of my own cultural heritage: Klezmer. My goal as a performer is to honor the traditional music forms that I love, and to bring the sensibilities and subtleties of folk music into my own compositions.