A Musical Life with Hugh Sung

Pianist Hugh Sung shares stories about making music and what moves our souls. Featuring interviews with musicians from a wide variety of genres, including Classical, Folk, Rock, Jazz, and beyond. Visit for all episodes and show notes. New episodes coming every Monday.
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 30, 2016
Greg Sandow, Classical Music Futurist and Thought Leader

Music critic and composer Greg Sandow has written extensively on the future of classical music. As a critic, Greg covered new classical music in The Village Voice and was senior music editor for Entertainment Weekly. As a thought leader, Greg works on defining the problems in classical music and finding innovative solutions for them.

What if orchestras could perform in stadiums packed with 20,000 passionate fans and had all their financial problems solved? What would that look like? How could they make that dream come true? This is the kind of question that Greg Sandow poses to major symphony orchestras and classical music institutions to help them explore innovative solutions to make their art more relevant and fiscally solvent in today’s cultural climate. Nowadays, Greg is returning to his composer roots, and recently had a “reemergence” with a full recital featuring his works at The Mansion at Strathmore in Maryland.


Greg's Website:

Greg's Program Notes from his Reemergence Recital at The Mansion at Strathmore
April 14, 2016:



May 23, 2016
Peter Schickele, Composer & P.D.Q. Bach Specialist

Composer Peter Schickele has written over 100 works for a wide variety of orchestral, chamber, and vocal ensembles and genres, as well as scores for film and television. As the world’s leading - ah, make that, only - authority on P.D.Q. Bach, the oddest of J.S. Bach’s 20-odd children, Professor Shickele has for the past 50 years unwittingly lampooned classical music culture with his mis-discoveries of works for such bizarre instruments as the left handed sewer flute, the windbreaker, and the bicycle siren.

Peter Schickele has been one of my musical heroes since childhood, ever since my first general music teacher played one of his P.D.Q. Bach albums in class and had everyone howling with laughter! From his humble beginnings as the only bassoon player in Fargo, North Dakota, to his collaborations with legendary folk singer Joan Baez and score for the seminal sci-fi movie, “Silent Running”, as well as his long-running radio show, “Schickele Mix” on Public Radio International, Peter Schickele is perhaps best known for his comedic persona as P.D.Q. Bach, the 21st of J.S. Bach’s 20 children, and the only “dead” composer who can still take commissions. What a thrill to have Peter and P.D.Q. on my show!


Peter Schickele's/P.D.Q. Bach's Website:


May 16, 2016
Rendra Zawawi, Malaysian Musician, Composer & Producer

Rendra Zawawi co-wrote and co-produced, “Arena Chahaya”, the theme song for the 2016 Malaysian soccer movie, “Ola Bola”, sung by Zee Avi. As a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Rendra brings an astonishing diversity of styles to his music and career.

We’re continuing our series on Musical Entrepreneurs. As I mentioned in the intro, Rendra Zawawi is one of the most diverse musicians I’ve come across. Hold on to your hats, cause we’re going to be listening to a really wide variety of musical styles that Rendra writes and produces. And later in the episode, I’m going to introduce another special guest who has created a fascinating music consultation company for corporations, where Rendra works as a branding expert.


Rendra's Website:

Sound Leadership:


May 9, 2016
Brandon Pearce, Music Teacher's Helper Founder and World Traveler

Brandon Pearce is the founder of Music Teacher’s Helper, a website that does just that - it helps music teachers organize, schedule and receive payments for music lessons, and so much more. From the proceeds of his company, Brandon lives a remarkable life, traveling around the world full time with his family, free of material possessions and with the luxury of time to ponder life’s beauty and mysteries.

We’re continuing our special series on Musical Entrepreneurs, and I’m so excited to share one of the most fascinating interviews to date. Classically trained pianist Brandon Pearce started out juggling a small studio of piano students and a full time job while raising a young family. To solve some of his own problems as a piano teacher, Brandon created Music Teacher’s Helper, which then went on to grow into a business that gave him the opportunity to live and think outside the box. WAY outside the box. We’re talking about leaving a full time job, selling all his possessions, leaving the country and living around the world with only what he and his family could carry. In the process, he made some important discoveries that turned his world upside down. This is one of the most thought-provoking interviews I’ve conducted so far, and I really appreciate Brandon’s openness and transparency in sharing his remarkable story.


Music Teacher's Helper

Studio Helper

Brandon's Family Blog, "Pearce On Earth" -

Brandon's Music Page on SoundCloud:

Facebook Groups

Families who love travel
Families on the move
World schoolers

House Sitting Sites

WWOOF Organic Farm Work Exchange



May 2, 2016
Tim Topham, Piano Pedagogy Pioneer

Tim Topham is a prolific blogger and host of the Tim Topham TV piano teaching podcast, a resource for piano teachers looking for creative ways to teach and engage their students. Tim’s writing and training courses have been featured in several music journals and publications, and he regularly speaks at local and international music conferences.

Tim and I have connected several times over the years, beginning back when I was working at AirTurn. Tim has created some amazing resources for piano teachers looking for innovative ways to instill excitement and creativity in their students, including courses for teaching pop piano, articles on integrating technologies like iPad apps into pedagogy, and now a special online community for piano teachers called The Inner Circle.  Tim has been kind enough to feature me twice on his wonderful podcast, Tim Topham TV, so now it’s my pleasure to return the favor.


Tim's website:

Tim Topham TV Podcast:

Inner Circle Community for Piano Teachers:

Piano Flix course for teaching pop piano: