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PATRICIA SUNWOO, VIOLINIST


Patricia SunwooViolinist and Rochester resident Patricia Sunwoo is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Amenda String Quartet, a group dedicated to the study and performance of Beethoven's quartets. She and her husband David Brickman own and manage startup companies PlayMyPiece.com, which produces and sells digital recordings of student violin works, and Bodymind Float Center on Park Avenue, Rochester's first floatation therapy center. Ms. Sunwoo won the 1998 Naumburg Award as a member of the Whitman String Quartet and subsequently performed across the United States and Europe for five years to critical acclaim. Other groups she has performed with include the Bard Festival String Quartet and Sequitur. She was on faculty at Binghamton University until 2006 and currently has a small private teaching studio. She earned her doctoral degree in 2001 from the Juilliard School under Sally Thomas.

Ms. Sunwoo lives in the beautiful Highland Park neighborhood with David and seven-year old Lillian.

Our Exclusive Interview with Patricia!

1. What do you love about Canandaigua?
As a member of the RPO I always look forward to our annual collaboration with Canandaigua Academy's chorus. Their presentation and preparation has always moved me.

2. Was the violin your first instrument?
The violin was my first instrument. I started at age 5 with after school group lessons offered at my public school. All I remember from these early lessons is the socializing.

3. Describe your favorite performance you’ve given.

A favorite recent performance of mine happened over the holidays when my brother and I played some holiday tunes for my father's assisted-living home. Music can bring joy to the lonely and ill.

4. Who is your favorite composer?
My favorite composer of the moment is Bach. I can't wait to start John Eliot Gardiner's recently celebrated biography.

5. Who was your most influential teacher?
My most influential teacher was my third grade teacher, who taught us so many fun and meaningful life lessons beyond the ABC's, usually through cooking projects.

6. What is your favorite city and why?
My favorite city is Vancouver: home sweet home.

7. How do/did you motivate yourself when times get hard?
I actually really love practicing and working hard, so I rarely have trouble being motivated.  That being said, sometimes even I don't feel like practicing!  When that happens, I just get myself to sit down and START.  Once I start, I find it inevitable to continue.  My goal is to have every concert be the best one I have ever played.  I know that's not possible, but I like to use that goal to always challenge and inspire myself to go beyond what I think I can do.

8. What other hobbies do you have?
Raising a 7 year old, helping out awesome School No. 12 in the Rochester City School District, running two companies (Bodymind Float Center and PlayMyPiece.com), diving into all sixteen Beethoven String Quartets with my Amenda Quartet colleagues.
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