Zoe Zeniodi was strictly a pianist for the past 27 years. That was what she loved, that was her passion.
Two and a half years ago, she came to Miami to visit her cousins but ended up staying longer. Zeniodi, a graduate student earning a doctorate of musical arts in orchestral conducting said, “I had never thought of conducting, I was a piano player!”
Now, the new conductor will have what she calls a “lifetime experience.” She will conduct the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and the Frost Symphony Orchestra as they play together in Gusman Concert Hall on Thursday, March 5.
Originally from Greece, Zeniodi came to Miami in August 2006. She has studied in Salzburg and London but the Frost Doctoral of Musical Arts program drew her to UM.
Zeniodi is someone who doesn’t need much. “I don’t need money, I need music. Music is my life…it’s inside me,” she said. To her, music is not a job, it is a way of living.
She is excited to work with the Cleveland Orchestra because they also share her passion.
For the third year, the Cleveland Orchestra is calling Miami their winter home for three weeks. About 100 musicians spend three weeks here to participate in different events, such as this engagement with the Frost School of Music, according to Ana Papakhian, the spokesperson in charge of finding new audiences for the Cleveland Orchestra.
This year, something different is being done.
“For the first time, we are doing what we call a side by side with the Cleveland Orchestra,” said Kenneth Moses, assistant dean for undergraduate studies at the Frost School of Music. “They’ll bring out an equal number out of each instrument. If they bring out six first violins, we’ll have six of our violins sitting next to them. If there’s a clarinet there will be one of theirs and one of ours.”
The Cleveland Orchestra and Frost Music Symphony will play two pieces at their concerts at Gusman. The first, conducted by Tito Muñoz, the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, is Schubert’s unfinished symphony. It is “a master work, [it is] one of his greatest pieces ever written,” said David Bebe, a graduate instrumental performance major who is the principal cellist. The second is a number of pieces for voice and orchestra by Hector Berlioz and is being conducted by Zeniodi.
“I think it’s a wonderful experience, it will be a wonderful experience for everyone,” Zeniodi said. Thursday’s concert is open to the university community and the public.
“I never thought I would get one hour with the Cleveland [Orchestra],” Zeniodi said. “Magic can happen in one moment in music…[and] every moment will be timeless.”
“There is no sleep for conductors, we live on no sleep and coffee…it’s eat, sleep, drink coffee and continue, [there is] no free time. If I get six hours every five to six days, I’m lucky,” Zeniodi says, smiling. “It is incredible to do what we love all day long.”
If You Go
What: The Cleveland Orchestra and Frost Music Symphony
When: Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Gusman Concert Hall