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Meet new Curtis student Ray Ushikubo

Ray Ushikubo at the President's PicnicRay Ushikubo is a member of Curtis's 2018 incoming class. He’s majoring in both violin and piano—Curtis’s first double major in more than a decade. (It’s rare for any student to meet the stringent requirements of two different departments.) Ray admits to being less expert at the time-honored Curtis student pastime of ping-pong, though he really enjoys playing pool—and he played a lot of both during new student orientation. Now, as classes and lessons and rehearsals get underway, the learning by doing begins in earnest. Ray is 18 years old and comes to Curtis from Riverside, California.  Below, he shares some thoughts about his path to Curtis. Join us in welcoming Ray and all of our new students to the Curtis family!

What has been your most important musical experience until now?
Performing the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic was mind-blowing. Performing as a soloist with orchestra has always been my favorite type of performance.

How did you hear about Curtis?
Curtis is legendary. I don’t recall when I first heard about it, but from the time I started playing music, Curtis has always been my dream school.

How do you make sure you get enough practice time on both your major instruments?
I split my practice hours evenly with piano and violin. On days that I do not have classes, lessons, etc., I try to get four to five hours of practice for each instrument. Time management is crucial, and discipline becomes more important than ever.

What are you looking forward to most about attending Curtis?
I am most looking forward to working with my teachers—Mr. Graffman and Mr. McDonald on the piano, and Mr. Rosand and Ms. Midori for violin. They have been my inspiration for many years and I cannot wait to finally work with them in real life.