Catching up with New Co-Artistic Director Hubert Ho
We met up with new Co-Artistic Director Hubert Ho for an informal Q&A with ongoing Co-Artistic Director Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin. Hubert is a faculty member at Northeastern University.
SEHT: Why did you end up becoming a composer?
HH: I actually started trying out compositional nuggets at around 5 years of age, writing short piano pieces for myself. I believe the first piece I ever wrote was entitled “Popcorn Shrimp” (being from Louisiana and all). I studied piano and violin from ages 5 and 8, respectively. As I grew older I was exposed to a lot of other cool things like music theory, and contemporary music. I’m from a generation of kids who got really excited about The Rite of Spring, and from there my interests developed and broadened.
SEHT: Did your family or upbringing have an influence on your career choice?
HH: They’re generally very supportive. Like many other Asian parents part of them probably hoped that I would become a medical doctor. But my mother in particular, I believe, has a keen musical sense. When I was practicing piano or violin she would always coach me issues of tone, phrasing, and dynamics, in addition to telling me to practice more!
SEHT: When did you first get to know Dinosaur Annex?
HH: I must have experienced my first Dino Annex concert in the 90s when I was an undergraduate at Harvard. I’ve tracked their progress over the years and attended a number of their more recent concerts.
SEHT: What motivated you to accept the offer to become Dinosaur Annex Co-Artistic Director?
HH: Serving as co-Artistic Director of Dinosaur Annex carries a significant amount of responsibility. As an ensemble that has been in existence for almost half a century, it is important to both respect the ensemble’s standing contributions to concert music of today, and to look forward to the ensemble’s performances and commissions of new works for the future. I readily embrace the challenges of running an ensemble in the 21st century, in an increasingly saturated environment of live and virtual artistic stimuli.
SEHT: Dinosaur Annex is now celebrating its 43rd year. What do you imagine its future to look like when it reaches the half-century mark?
HH: While maintaining the high performance standards by which Dino Annex is known, we seek to broaden our audience base by incorporating more inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives in our activities. Our second and third concerts for this 43rd season involve electronics, poetry, video, neuroscience, and food (!). We continue to challenge the paradigm of what a concert is and can be. The future of Dino Annex’s programs will tend to be rich with innovative presentation formats and new forms of participant engagement.
SEHT: What else do you do besides music?
HH: There’s not much time for much else! But I try to play ultimate frisbee at least once a week to keep fit. I’m also an avid cook.