Spotlight on Violist Nadia Sirota

Photo Credit: Samantha West

Today we’re turning the spotlight on From the Top alum and violist Nadia Sirota. Nadia initially appeared on From the Top during our first season – Show 013 to be exact – which we taped at Symphony Hall in Boston on March 4, 2000.  She performed the Viola Sonata, Mvt. Impetuoso by Rebecca Clarke.

Later that same season, Nadia appeared on Show 022 in Lake Buena Vista, Flordia.  She performed with The Capriccio Quartet, a Fischoff Championship Quartet. They performed the first movement of the Ravel String Quartet “in a way that has been unmatched since,” according to From the Top music producer Tim Banker!

Since performing on From the Top, Nadia has received both her Bachelors and Masters from Juilliard and in 2007 she won the Juilliard Concerto Competition, even though she messed up her piece – “I had a memory slip in the 2nd or 3rd movement in my audition in the final of the competition… I wasn’t too depressed. I was like, ‘Look if I don’t win, I know why.’ I mean, it’s nice to have something that tangible to blame failure on.  But then I won. It didn’t factor into their decision.”

These days Nadia is involved in some very cool musical activities in New York City!

After finishing school Nadia found herself in need of a job and after several conversations with various administrators of musical organizations, she got in touch with a WNYC manager who agreed to let her rip CDs to their database.  From there, WNYC gave her a radio show which she still runs as a web show through WQXR/WNYC. “One of things I have on my show now is a segment called ‘Hope Springs Atonal.’ It’s great because it prepares people to put on those ears for [classical] music…sometimes it’s hard to hear micro-tonal music along with other 21st century music.”

Nadia’s also produced a CD of her own, titled “First Things First,” with help from composer Nico Muhly, who she commissioned for the first track of this record. Through Nico, Nadia has made her entrance into the indie rock scene of NYC and currently plays the viola with some more alternative/rock music groups. She’s also member of Ymusic, an ensemble that’s geared towards the “overlapping classical and pop music worlds.”

When asked if the indie-but-classical music mix is hard to get for some listeners, Nadia responds, “one of the cool thing about presenting shows at a place like Le Poisson Rouge [a venue she performs at] is that a significant portion of the audience is on a date to just hear something cool… not particularly classical.  I can’t tell you how many people come up to me after a show and want to know about a piece.  They’re not classical music people.”

We’re excited to announce that Nadia will appear on a special From the Top program the week of November 29th. This “Alumni Musical Mavericks” show will feature the amazing creative musical journeys kids have taken since appearing on our program. Be sure to tune in to From the Top in late November!