Treme is a hit HBO series set in New Orleans, currently in its second season, following the lives of struggling musicians, including Korean-Italian American Lucia Micarelli, a real-life concert violinist who plays Annie on the show. Here, more of our conversation with Micarelli.
Audrey Magazine: How was growing up in New York?
Lucia Micarelli: I’m kind of mixed about it. On one hand, it grows children very quickly as they’re just exposed to a lot – and could be negative in a way. Kids who grow up in New York are probably more worldly and harder. But it’s the same in any big city as opposed to growing up away from the city. There are a lot of benefits. Exposed to a lot culturally, especially if parents made that their priority.
I was born in New York and grew up there until around 5 or 6, and we moved to Hawaii until I was 11. Then I auditioned for The Juilliard School’s pre-college division and got in, so we moved back. I was home-schooled, and so it wasn’t the most socially active childhood. I was home-schooled, practiced, and on Saturdays when to Juilliard and went to the city. I didn’t do much hanging out until I was a lot older. I definitely spent a lot of time at Tower Records across from Lincoln Center and Starbucks where my friends and I would talk about bands we didn’t really know anything about.
AM: African Americans have hip-hop and R&B, Cubans have salsa. What do you feel Asian Americans have and how have they contributed to music in the U.S.?
LM: When I think off the top of my head, I think of classical musicians. Asian Americans and Asians in general are certainly very huge in that genre. It’s almost dominated by AAs and I’m not sure why that is, but culturally we are all exposed to it at a young age. But I like to think of it as we value discipline and hard work as a culture. There are a bunch of AA and Asian musicians who started this whole child prodigy [phenomenon], when it was just a bunch of older men playing the violin back then. Sarah Chang, Midori and other young girls who were just incredibly persistent. That was a significant factor that changed classical music and it’s still being influence by them.
– Katrina Guevara