Introducing Gabriel Taubman!

Photo by Vicky Chow.

What’s your name?

Gabriel Taubman.  I’m named after a character in the Thomas Hardy book Far From the Madding Crowd.

Where are you from?

I’m from Brooklyn, NY.  I unfortunately can’t do the accent though.

How did you come to the viola?

I grew up playing the violin, but in seventh grade while living in London, my violin teacher started me playing the viola as well.  I remember it was a bizarre viola with a flat bottom.  After a few weeks of reading down a third, and writing fingerings over every note, I was hooked on the C-string and the mellower sound.  The signs were all there beforehand though, as I’d often experiment tuning my viola down a fifth.

Are you a Juilliard student?  Were you?  Or do you now work as part of the studio?

I currently have the honor of being the administrator of this very blog!

Tell us about one of your favorite performances?

One that stands out was performing Beethoven’s Grosse Fuga at Greenwood Chamber Music Camp.  The long hours spent preparing that movement, and camaraderie both between the members of the quartet, as well as with the coach John Ziarko, was something I’ll never forget.

If you could perform any viola piece, what would it be?

I think it’d be a blast to perform Hindemith’s Kammermusik No. 5 with an orchestra.

If you could play any non-viola piece, what would it be?

I’ve had my eye on the Brahms G Major violin sonata for a long time.  I also took a few years of organ lessons, and I think being able to perform BWV 540 would be an amazing amount of fun.

Who made your viola and how did you get to be the one playing it?

My viola was made by Alexander Muradov in Moscow in 1991.  It was my high school viola teacher’s and he wasn’t using it.  In fact, I think it was set up as a baroque instrument when I got it; gut strings and all.  It’s often pretty picky about the weather, but I’ve never played an instrument that rings as nicely as it does.

Do you have any secret skills?

I used to make lollipops for fun, but that has been eclipsed by learning how to build a synthesizer.  Although, I guess since I don’t quite know how to do that yet, I can’t yet call it a skill.

Do you have a website?


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