"Chosen by the clarinet", Transylvanian born Hungarian American clarinetist, Monika Woods was noted for her "tender and insightful playing" and "exquisite musicianship" in a review by Keith Powers which also stated "her soft passages sounded like whispers, and when she played with force, it was with complete confidence".
But how did this performer, teacher come to be?
It's seems unlikely that a girl (now a first place winner of the Cape Cod Symphony's Soloist Competition) from the secluded crevices of the land-locked mountains of Transylvania (a Hungarian enclave within present-day Romania) would find her niche as a US citizen amidst the salty air of the Cape, but it happened. Perhaps it's because the wind blowing through the marsh grass of Paine's Creek so clearly echoes the gentle fields of the Transylvanian plains.
As a natural gesturalist and born educator, the strains of Béla Bartók caught the ear of Monika Veress (Woods) at an early age and so she inherited the music bug. Soon after she attended a High School for the Arts.
Diligent undergraduate study in clarinet performance earned her a prestigious spot at the "Gh. Dima" Music Academy in
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where she graduated with high honors and a Masters in Stylistics of Clarinet Performance.
During that time she also taught clarinet in the local high school of music and dialogue with students further opened her mind and ears to the wonderful subtleties of the instrument, her nurturing but rigorous teaching style earning high marks with students.
An adventurer and dedicated lover of lilting melodies, soon she was playing Mozart duets on the streets of Provincetown on days off between summer-abroad jobs, and soon after that performing at art exhibits, benefit concerts, Cape churches, and as a featured clarinet soloist with the Chatham Chorale, and Cape Symphony.
Monika was featured as a guest artist by Cape Symphony and became the 2013 New England Concerto Competition first prize winner .
Monika offers private music lessons on Cape Cod for all ages. With new learners she incorporates Kodaly's philosophy of teaching with a child centered educational approach. In her music lessons she combines traditional teaching techniques with the use of audio and video recording. For more info on lessons visit her Studio page.
Monika is co-founder of Open Mic Classical (aka the Mic-less Open Mic), an organization promoting classical music.
I nourish my creativity and musicality by more walks, reading, and "hot" yoga on my purple flower-embossed mat which has simultaneous meditation and "work-out" value to me.
I try to minimize distractions, not get tangled up in the A-D-D digital world in general. My students help me with that, since there are always so in the moment.
When I can keep my life on track in those regards the inspiration comes naturally, whether it's by way of a fun Mozart passage, a killer Stravinsky chord voicing, a silly walk from my daughter among the circular patterns of our round hemp kitchen rug, the hue of a dog-eared Japanese maple leaf or simply interesting weather.
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