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Senior Spotlight: Bethlehem Hadgu, viola

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Senior Spotlight: Bethlehem Hadgu, viola

Chloe McIntosh


School: TC Williams High School


What AYPO ensembles have you played in and for how long?

AYCO: 2014-2015; AYP: 2015-2018; Chamber ensemble program: 2016-2018


Your favorite/most memorable musical memory?

My favorite memory was when I first started taking lessons with Laura Cahn in 9th grade. I fell in love with classical music that year because Ms Cahn taught me so much. And also because I saw how much it changed my life. It made me see things from a different perspective. It made me see the world and humans differently. How much classical music speaks when words simply can't. It brings color to black and white. And food to the soul. I entered the National Symphony youth fellowship program in my sophomore year and took lessons from William Foster on full scholarship. Classical music playing the viola became the love of my life. My passion. What I cherish and love for the rest of my life until I die. I couldn't possibly imagine my life without it.


What musician inspires you and why?

There's no musician that really inspires me. I'm inspired by the music itself. What the composer intended to say and do. The kind of color, emotion, nuance, character he or she wants to evoke. That itself is pure inspiration for me. How a human can possibly write pure masterpieces and something so out of this world. I get more motivated to practice by listening to artists like amihai grosz, pinchus zukerman, and ettorre causa but not it's not what fuels me to keep going or grow.


Advice for young musicians?

If you want to go into classical music which is a very narrow and competitive field you have to have passion for it. You have to love it so much you can't imagine your life without it. You have to be disciplined enough to practice the amount you actually need not want. You have to work hard because talent plays only a 10% role. It requires a lot of maturity and faith in yourself. You simply have to do it because you love it, nothing else. Another piece of very important advice for musicians based on what I see often is that a lot of the times kids often take classical music for granted. Because these kids have had it their whole lives they don't really see how valuable and cherishable it is. It's one of the things that often frustrate me. That's also because I wish I've had it my whole life because I see how much I've missed out on. But don't take classical music/playing your instrument taking lessons, going to rehearsal for granted because it's a privilege, and should be held sacred. There are plenty of kids out there who wish they have the opportunities we are blessed to have and wish they have the chance to be in classical music but don't have that privilege because of financial means.


What do you hope to do after graduation?

I will be attending The Julliard School on a full ride being a Kovner Fellow. I want to also simply spread my passion for classical music. I believe classical music belongs to everyone not only tho those who can afford it. I want to break down barriers with my talent. I want to make sure all kids and adults have the opportunity to fall in love with music. I want to perform traveling around to new audiences as a solo recitalist.