One of the nice things about having my own blog, is that I can shamelessly promote all the people I admire and care about. I wanted to dedicate today’s post to my parents who are both musicians and talented artists in their own right.
Meet Gil Miranda, my father:
Home-schooled in his native Portugal, my father entered university at age 16. He received training in law and began his professional life as a lawyer in Portugal. However, at the same time he also pursued his love of music and studied for three years privately in Paris with renowned teacher, conductor and composer, Nadia Boulanger. She was even a guest of honor at my parents’ wedding in Portugal! In 1975 when I was four, my parents left Portugal for the USA as a result of political unrest from the Communist uprising there. My father made the decision to move forward in his professional career from that point on in music, and he taught theory and musicianship classes at schools such as Dartmouth College and Oberlin Conservatory up until his retirement in 2001.
My father’s hobby has always been jewelry making. Growing up, I was used to seeing soldering equipment, hearing hammering sounds, and, along with the occasional swear word (always in Portuguese), being summoned into my father’s study to help him retrieve some tiny finding that had jumped up and become buried in the carpet. I also looked forward to the teeniest boxes under the tree at Christmas because I knew they would contain some new jewelry that he had made especially for me.
I hope you will visit my father’s new website. He has a beautiful collection of pieces for sale and the website contains many gorgeous pictures of his work from over the years.
Meet Sharon LaRocca Miranda, my mother:
A classically-trained pianist, my mother obtained both her B.M. and M.M. degrees in performance from Northwestern University. By the time she she was finishing up her undergraduate degree, she had enough money saved up to make her dream of traveling to Europe a reality. She enrolled in the summer music course taught by Nadia Boulanger at Fountainbleau outside of Paris. It was there that she met my father and they embarked on their courtship – no small feat since my father’s English was somewhat limited and my mother didn’t speak any Portuguese. Shortly thereafter, my mom, now married to my father, fully embraced the language and culture and settled into life as a music teacher in Lisbon, Portugal. Her plucky spirit remained unchanged, though; my mom was probably the first lady in Lisbon to wear pants and she caused many raised eyebrows in the Miranda family as well with her “unusual” baking of things such as cherry pie!
Over the years, while my mother has continued to perform and teach piano, she has explored her love for pottery and now has two pottery studios – one in Oberlin and the other in NH where my parents spend the summers. Her work is always interesting, often whimsical, and it is all functional. Please visit her website to see more of her work and for purchasing information.