Lev Mamuya

Lev Mamuya

About Lev Mamuya

Lev Mamuya is fourteen years old and in the ninth grade at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.  He is a student of Michael Reynolds at the New England Conservatory and has been playing the cello for the past 11 years.  Previous teachers include Debbie Thompson, Laura Blustein and Paul Katz.  He studies at the Perlman Music Program in the summer and has attended Greenwood Music Camp.  He gave his first solo recital at age five and appeared as a soloist with the Cape Cod Symphony at age eight. He won the Newton Symphony concerto competition in 2007.  In 2008, he appeared as a soloist on the PBS radio show “From the Top” as well as on the TV program “From the Top at Carnegie Hall.”  He was a soloist with the New Philharmonia Orchestra in February of 2010.  In addition to appearances as a soloist, Lev has been an active chamber music since age six.

He currently plays in two string quartets and relishes opportunities to perform outreach concerts in schools and nursing homes.  He is also a member of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at New England Conservatory.  Besides playing music, Lev also composes music and was commissioned to write a piece for Winsor Music in 2010.  He studies composition with Howard Frazin. In his free time, Lev enjoys reading, hiking, playing video games and basketball.  Most importantly, Lev is a fervent Boston sports fan.

Competitions ≠ Success: A Student Perspective — by Lev Mamuya

Not all competitions are created equal. There are good ones and bad ones, and good and bad reasons for entering. Many kids are raised to be competitive, both musically and in school. Kids can feel pressure to do competitions from parents, teachers and peers. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking success can only be measured by winning competitions and that a career in music and admission to a good school are impossible without numerous wins. Competitions are good for many things, but they should not define success. They often consist of just one performance, on one particular day; success is something you achieve over many years through work and dedication. Since most competitions, at the most, will be three rounds over a short period of time, [...]

Composing and Playing Music: How Composing Helps Your Playing — by Lev Mamuya

Composing one’s own music can prove to be a very valuable resource when it comes to interpreting the music of others, and vice versa. As a composing musician myself, I find that as I get more advanced in each field, each one’s development seems to promote the other’s. Through composing my own music I have not necessarily gained a greater technical facility, but a more complete understanding of the markings in the music that I play and a deeper appreciation of the composer’s intentions.  The practice of putting in more detailed markings has developed over time. The music of 20th century composers is generally more specific marking-wise than the music of the Baroque era in terms of what composers actually wrote into the music. For instance, the Debussy Cello Sonata [...]

Summer Music Camp — by Lev Mamuya

Ah, the joys of summer music camp—one of the greatest ideas of the human race, right up there with Snickers ice cream bars and compound interest. The experience of a summer at a good music camp is an essential part to speedy, varied, and interesting musical growth, and the friendships you make there can last you a lifetime (at least I think they will). I’m writing this as a break from packing; I leave tomorrow and I can’t wait. Summer music camp, as well as being an enjoyable social experience, can be the most productive time of the year to improve on your instrument. During the academic year, it’s easy for even the most focused individuals to lose track of musical goals because of the demands of school, sports, etc. [...]

Fantastic Getaways and their Cello-related Aftermath — by Lev Mamuya

The house is just like you left it. As soon as you plop your heavy suitcase in the door, you run over to the corner. Ah, how nice to see your cello after such a long absence! You open up the case, and start to play. What are these odd, strange squeaking noises emanating from your cello? Why can’t you play properly? Having just come back from a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica, I am faced with this question: how do I regain the level of technicality that I had before a long absence from the cello? The short answer: with time and lots of varied, and sometimes evil exercises. Now I’m sorry to be sort of a practicing nag two blogs in a row, but it’s necessary for all [...]

By |2017-10-22T22:54:55+00:00March 24th, 2011|Categories: Cello Travel, High School Blogs, In the Practice Room|Tags: , , , , , |

Thirds, Thirds, Thirds… — by Lev Mamuya

Practice your thirds.  As well as improving your technique, it can be…sigh…well, even a little bit fun. Many people give thirds an unfair label: they’re boring, they’re tedious, and they’re hard… Thirds are hard at first, and require daily repetition to maintain to the fullest, but never fear! A good daily method can change you from someone who hates thirds, to someone who can look forward to practicing thirds every day. Scales are always good. Thirds scales are even better. Practicing thirds scales slowly and repetitively is an important way to improve technique such as left hand finger rounding and intonation. Plus, a slow tempo can give you more time to focus on right hand/arm technique. This may not be the most fun part of practicing thirds, but JUST DO [...]