MET violist Katherine Anderson has been interviewing orchestra members to capture a snapshot of the many personalities of the MET as they talk about their lives both in and out of music. She recently spoke with Mariko Anraku, Associate Principal Harp of the MET Orchestra since 1995.
KA: What do you like about living in NY?
MA: It's so easy to live here. Japanese culture can be complex, that's the beauty of it...but I'm expected to act certain ways when I'm there. When I'm here in NY I feel I can be so much more of an individual. It's so diverse here...there's so much to offer...food, the arts, music. There's also a lot of Japanese culture in NY. My son is going to a Japanese school and there are many Japanese grocery stores and restaurants. Because I spent more of my childhood in North America than in Japan, I've been exploring my roots since I started living here. I've been taking traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Urasenke on the east side and there is a Nippon club, offering Japanese cultural classes and I took Ikebana classes and the art of incense and a class called Kitsuke, learning how to dress yourself in a kimono.
KA: What are some of the "best" moments of your life...
MA: My sons' smile. Every moment I spend with him...everything he discovers. The sweetness he brings to my life. I usually get up earlier than him...at some point he gets up and runs into the kitchen and he hugs my legs and then we hug for about 10 minutes. When I look at his face I just can't help kissing it. He's 3 1/2!