November 15, 2012 @ Jim Self’s Hollywood home
Roland Szentpali is an incredibly talented ball of energy that always seems to be tackling a million projects at the same time with the utmost style and grace. He is touring the world as a soloist one day, playing in the National Orchestra in Budapest the next, composing in between, and perhaps playing in a nightclub on the weekend with RTB Crew. He is so busy as a performer and composer that when he and I performed his piece K-1 for two solo tubas and six trombones this past November it was the first time he’d even played it! Roland is a unique and special spirit, continuously looking to the future with optimism and excitement for what the next day will bring, yet looking to the past the find where all the music he loves and holds dear came from. He has an unrelenting passion for all things music, new and old. I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Roland at the end of his 2012 American tour here in Los Angeles. He and I met up at Jim Self’s Hollywood home for a nice little chat that turned into a three hour talk about all things music… and a little bit extra. It was a truly special evening that seemed to fly by.
Blake Cooper – We might as well start at the beginning. Can you tell us a little about where you’re from?
Roland Szentpali – I am Hungarian, which is in mid Europe; it’s really a little country. Less then 10 million people live there. But the brass school is really good, so all around the world there are top orchestras with Hungarians playing principal trumpet, horn, and trombone. Tuba not as much; mainly we stay at home. But for example, the two principal trumpet players of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are both Hungarian.
BC – Tell us a little about how you found the tuba, or how the tuba found you.
RS – This was an accident. I was in a sport specialized elementary school in Hungary. And in one of the music classes our teacher played the Bach G major minuet (sings) and I fell in love. It hit me like lightning. And from that moment I always bothered him in the intermissions, “please teach me how to play violin.” At the beginning he was enthusiastic because it was unusual to have someone in a sports specialized elementary school to show interest in music. But, he was a heavy smoker and he got bored with me asking because I always bothered him in the intermissions when he had his smoking time. So he told me, “go to the music school, there are teachers who will teach you whatever you want.”
And I have to explain this music school a little bit … We have the elementary school and in the afternoon there are special schools like music school, dance school, or theater school. So I went to this music school and I told them I would like to be a musician, a violin player. So one of the ladies brought me to the violin class and introduced me to the violin teacher. He saw that I was very enthusiastic and that my eyes were shining whenever I said “violin.” He asked me, “what do you want to do with the violin?” I said, “I would like to be a musician.” Because he saw that I was tall he asked, “How old are you?” I said “I’m 12” to which he replied, “It’s too late.” So because I was 12, I had two years to apply to the conservatory but had no chance with the violin because you usually start between ages 4 and 6. He said to me, “look around in the music school, you may find something else you like.” They brought me to the brass class and there were beautiful trumpets, horns, and trombones on the table. They were all these old shiny lacquer Czech instruments. Only the tuba was not lacquered because of the cost. It was green and in the corner. I was tall, so I had a special love for any kind of big instrument or big thing. I asked, “what is this in the corner?” They said this it was a tuba and they then called the tuba teacher. He was a professional and he played something really well. Not just a note or two- he played a part of a Marcello sonata or something. I fell in love with this beautiful warm sound and I said, “I want to play this.” And this is how I became a tuba player. I started with a German oval shaped tenor horn because he said my breathing system was not strong enough yet to play the tuba. I played a half year or so with the tenor horn and improved really quickly because I was enthusiastic about playing. I think he was a really good teacher to build up my breathing basics. His name is Sandor Lukacs. He was a student of Laszlo Szabo. Laszlo is kind of famous in Europe because he has always had really good tuba players in the music academy. So I am kind of a great grandson of Laszlo because my first teacher was his student. At the conservatory, Jozsef Bazsinka was my teacher; Bazsinka was also a student of Szabo. Then I studied with Gabor Adamik who was also student of Szabo before finally studying with Szabo himself. We have our own school of brass playing that’s influenced by the Russian tradition, a little bit of French, and a little bit of German tradition.
Final round of the Philip Jones Competition in Guebwiller, France
BC – I know you eventually came to study with Roger Bobo. What was your experience as a student of Roger?
RS – Roger Bobo was and is my mentor. At the conservatory, Gabor Adamik discovered my…let’s say special talent. He gave me anything I needed. He’d let me borrow CDs or take me to an opera because he felt I needed to see it. He was like my second father because I was 200 km away from my parents and at that time we had no quick trains so it took 4 ½ hours to get home. So when I was 14 I could only visit my parents once a month or less. Adamik was more than just a teacher of music, but a teacher of life and how to live. So he discovered my talent and brought me to Germany to one of Roger Bobo’s master classes. There I played for Bobo Moses Fantasy by Paganini. I was 15 or 16. I actually still have this recording on tape. Roger really liked my playing and he said, “you need a better instrument.” I had this very bad tuba that was just falling apart. Roger tried to play a few notes [on it] in the master class. He called the Swiss Pro Harmonia Mundi Foundation and they contacted one of the big instrument makers and then I got a tuba for free. This was really a big thing for me…I was 16 and Roger Bobo, god of the tuba, started to support me. From that point he brought me everywhere he had master classes. Roger was honestly my mentor; even still he helps a lot. We have a lot of conversations about the literature of today, playing of today, instruments of today, and so on. There is a song by Whitney Houston, I learned from the best, and I can say “I learned from the best.”
6 Roger Bobo with Szentpali, Riva del Garda, Italy
First trip to the USA, 1995
BC – I want to move a little bit toward your compositional side. How did you first become interested in composing? How did that all come to be?
RS – That was an accident again. When I started to play tuba I had friends from the music specialized elementary school I knew that played trumpet, horn, and trombone and they needed a tuba player. At that time the other tuba players were older then they were. When they recognized I was playing tuba and I was the same age, they jumped on me and said, “Hey, you have to play with us because we need a tuba player.” At that time in Hungary the borders were closed. People didn’t have passports; the government would only give them out for special occasions. It was very difficult to move west. And the standard repertory of a brass quintet was almost unavailable. Some music existed only because the National Orchestra or one of the other orchestras would go do a tour in Europe or the US. They would meet with some brass players and they would talk while having a beer together and ask if they had any music for brass quintet or brass ensemble. If they did, these Hungarian brass players would ask to borrow the music and would copy the parts and score at night instead of sleeping and then give it back the next morning. So any material for brass quintet/ensemble was kind of treasured.
My quintet didn’t want to play something classical; we wanted contemporary music like the Malcolm Arnold brass quintet. We got a lot of our music from the radio. I would record with a reel tape, listen to it, and write it down. So we could play the Bach g minor Fugue because I wrote it down from the radio, but it took a lot of time and energy of course. When we wanted to play something modern it was even more difficult to find, or impossible. So I said, “I will compose something,” just for fun. Here is a brass quintet and it is so cool and we are good friends so I will write something and we will try it. And so I got the experience of how to compose, to use my imagination. We played my music, and I liked it. I liked the situation as well- I compose something and we all learn and work things out and so on. So I just got in this “bad” habit. (Laughs)
My first big opportunity was when I won the National Brass Competition at age 16. One of the prizes was the opportunity to play a solo with symphony orchestra. And the conductor asked me, “What do I want to play?” My teacher said, “there is only one tuba concerto available, the Vaughn Williams” because someone, somehow, once copied the parts. They didn’t want to hire or rent the material. But I knew that everyone plays the Vaughn Williams, so I said, “I don’t want to play Vaughn Williams because everybody plays that.” I was thinking about playing a bassoon concerto- Weber? But then I had another idea. I had been composing at the time for brass quintet, woodwind quintet, and larger chamber groups for my friends. So I said, “let me write a concerto.” They said, “Ok, you have 2 weeks.” (Laughs) Computers were not what they are now so I had to write it in score form and then if they found it to be good I would have to extract all of the parts by hand. In 10 days I wrote a concerto for tuba with 3 movements. (Not the same Concerto currently published by Editions BIM.) The Director, who was also the conductor of the symphony orchestra, checked it out and found it interesting. So we played it, and it was successful! I still have the score, I just recently found it at home and I found the TV recording too. The conductor commissioned my next piece, which was Dances for Symphony Orchestra. Because of this, the following year I had a commission for a double concerto for two clarinets. That was successful and was played several times in Hungary. It was for symphony orchestra, choir, and two clarinets. It was a luxury because it was performed with the Conservatory Orchestra and the choir was free. One of the clarinet players who played my double concerto became a classical saxophonist and established a saxophone quartet. They commissioned the Saxophone Quartet Concerto. That was performed with one of the top Orchestras in Hungary, the Dohnanyi Symphony Orchestra. The conductor liked the saxophone quartet piece, so he commissioned the Magnificat for choir and orchestra, and I added a jazz trio, a rapper, and two solo vocalists. That was a huge success so he commissioned another oratorical piece, Beatus Vir, which uses an even bigger group. By this time I had gotten a contract with Editions BIM, so they published all my pieces. Because of this I got the commission from the Phillip Jones Brass Competition to compose the [Tuba] Concerto. I just got lucky! My compositions and my career as a composer just grew bigger and bigger. It was an accident. I’m not sure that if we had had all the music in hand at that time when I was 12, even the modern or contemporary stuff, if I would have ever started composing. Maybe yes, maybe not. Who knows?
BC – Where did the inspiration for this Tuba Concerto (2002/2006) come from?
RS – That was a commission by Bernard Soustrot who was the artistic leader of the Phillip Jones Brass Competition in France. Of course I knew the Vaughn Williams and Koetsier. The Koetsier is a little bit like a style exercise, a bit like Brahms, a little Romantic, a little German funny, and so on. The Vaughan Williams is serious and not easy to play, but not really an attractive piece actually. We suffer and practice a lot to make it happen, but I played the RVW in Hungary and I did a really good job with symphony orchestra. The audience never went home like, “Wow, amazing! The tuba can do this?” because it’s not very attractive. So I was really happy about this commission because I did feel that it was the time to do a concerto but from a little bit different perspective, because I am tuba player. This is a unique situation because I know the strengths and the weaknesses of the instrument, and of course I know what is easy for me. Most every piece that I compose is mainly easy for me. Because I don’t want to work really hard on learning my own pieces and I know I will go and play these pieces on tour and I know I will have jet lag, and be really busy with a tight schedule, probably won’t have much time to practice and stay in shape. I always want to be sure that if I’m not 100% in shape, I can still play really well. When I wrote the concerto, I wanted to write something showing what the tuba can do, but still comfortable to play. I’ve heard from other performers who have played it, that this is not really technically difficult but more physically demanding. But you know, it’s a concerto! Of course you have to have some physical support for the piece.
I finished the first movement, which is actually a ritual in my mind…before I started to study music I wanted to be an anthropologist. My parents had bought me books about ancient humans, who were not homo sapiens yet, they were homo erectus and so on. So I was really interested because I read a lot about how these ancient people lived in groups. So the first movement is a ritual where in the group there are some people having some problems- there’s no food, a sickness; some died. This group had a leader, who was a kind a doctor, or at least the people believed he was. So he could banish the evil things away from people and such. I imagine the group as the leader starts to play the drum; this is the timpani in the beginning. The timpani isn’t really well tuned, so the timpani doesn’t sound really good. This is how the leader started to get the people’s attention, by playing the drum. Everyone is quiet. When he finishes (rhythmic singing), the leaders screams (sings the tubas opening rip), like saying a prayer or something to the gods.
I remember I was in conservatory when I finished the first movement and I was thinking, “what kind of second movement can I write?” because Vaughan Williams’s second movement is so beautiful and Koetsier’s is so beautiful. I was looking for some character that was not just something beautiful. So I finished the last few bars of the piano version of the first movement. I just wrote down all the notes that I wanted to use to orchestrate later. I was sitting at the piano in the conservatory, playing the final bars of first movement when I got a call from my father. He told me that my grandfather had died. He was my last living grandparent. My grandfather had gone to the hospital just three days before with no real serious problem, just something bothering his stomach. But then he died, unexpectedly. I was very busy at that time composing, practicing, and teaching at the conservatory and university. I had no time to even visit him. I couldn’t have known I wouldn’t get the chance to say farewell. You never know what’s going to happen. It always matters how you treat other people. I went home and started to write the second movement, a dirge. I imagined the family gets together at this ceremony. The beginning is very Hungarian. My grandfather was a farmer his whole life. He had no job like what we call a job. No office, no firm, no factory…. nothing. Every morning he would wake up at 4 or 5, make breakfast; prepare a basket for lunch with some onion and bread and ham and went to work on the land. So this [movement] is very Hungarian, a very simple folk song kind of thing at the beginning. When the song comes back near the end, it’s suppose to be the coffin starting to lower. As the music goes lower, the coffin is going lower into the ground. This was all in my imagination when I was composing. Near the end the chords get darker and darker while also lowering in tessitura. The last few measures are the hope that he is in a good place.
BC -What about the 3rd movement? It has a very down home Hungarian feel to it.
RS – Yeah! Because I am! (laughs) I still have a lot of critics in Hungary saying, “yes, but it’s so much like Bartok, or Kodaly or something.” So? I mean, yes… because they are Hungarians as well. What do they want? That I write something that is French? Or Russian? No! I am Hungarian, so what else?
The last movement technically is a Csárdás? Csárdás is a Hungarian dance, because the village type of restaurant is called a csárda. The Csárdás is the dance that they dance in the csárda. When Hungarians celebrate something while eating and drinking, they start to dance the Csárdás. This Csárdás is the A rondo theme (sings first tuba entrance). At the time I composed this I had a lot of flashbacks from my childhood to the place where my grandfather lived, a little village in east Hungary, about 30-40 km from the Romanian/Ukrainian boarder. The cadenza is like a sneaky hide and seek game. Then the recap… hmmm, it’s not exactly a rondo; it’s a sonata rondo, because it has this mid section and the recap. This is all very childish, mixing some Csárdás with childish teasing. It’s funny.
BC – Where did RTB Crew come from? What was the inspiration to make a group like that happen?
RS -When I was in the Music Academy I didn’t have many opportunities to play gigs in orchestras. My younger sister was a trumpet player so I knew the fingerings and everything. So I used to play in funky bands and big bands as a lead trumpet at that time to earn money for my extra stuff. I was always interested in jazz. So I met Peter Szendofi, who is an excellent drummer in Hungary. And then later I met Áron Romhányi, who is now my usual piano player. They have a group together, kind of a duo formation called Loops Doctors. And the first CD that they did they recorded with one of the world famous American bass players, Gary Willis. They’re really progressive… drum and bass, jungle funk, rap, jazz, smooth jazz…. everything! I joined in a jam one night and they kind of liked it when we had this bass fight between Gary and me. They said, “Let’s do a CD with you, so you’re the featured artist with the Loop Doctors.” So we did, mostly Áron compositions.
BC – What is your function in the world of tuba players?
RS – Probably keeping the classical side of the tuba in the mainstream and contemporary while writing challenging pieces that will probably touch the next generation, but if not, will still be a privilege to play. For example, not everybody can play Kraft’s Encounters II so it’s not really in the repertoire. Other contemporary works like the Lazarov Cadenza and such pieces- they’re awesome pieces. But Roger recorded those 30-40 years ago. And if I listen to his Lazarov or Kraft now, [I think] Roger Bobo was not only one of the best if not the best tuba player ever, he was the guy that really put the literature of the tuba on a higher level.
Now the development drops a little bit. Solo tuba playing has a new direction. But probably my function is to balance it somehow. Of course, I will never be as popular as Sergio or Øystein, but I don’t mind because I always bring something new. Not just, “it’s a new piece, freshly composed” but a new concept. The RTB Crew is so successful here in the US. Now I’ve heard plenty of tubists starting to do something with beat box.
BC – You’re a bit of a gear head I understand. Your car is one of your hobbies, right?
RS – (laughs) I was; now I think I’m getting older. I’m calming down. I had a lot of passion for sports cars, so I have this Nissan 300ZX. I’m not into the cars as much now. I’m crazy for this historical instrument stuff and doing research…which is good, because if you spend money on a car, you’ll never get it back. But with these historical instruments, I can use them and play them; of course I will still never get back the money I spent. A serpent is €5,000; I’ll never make that up in serpent gigs. But this is something unique and worth having and spending money on, not like a car.
Szentpali with serpent
BC – My next question was actually about all your instruments, new and old. What kind of equipment are you playing these days?
RS – I’m a Meinl Weston artist and I’m very satisfied. For solos I’m using a 2250 customized model and 2260RA, which is a rotary version of the 2250. My CC tuba is a 6450 Baer and I play a Fafner BBb tuba. But now if I have to play Berlioz or Mendelssohn or these kinds of things I’m using the historical instruments. [I have a] serpent, an ophicleide from 1830-40 with a dragon head, a Bb ophicleide with nine keys, a bass saxhorn made by Quisnon from 1870-80, a Vienna tuba from around 1858-60, and I hope to soon have “real” cimbasso. This is the Italian version of the bass corno. I’m interested in doing more research about the exact instrument they used for the Vaughn Williams and the Hindemith Sonata. I would like to have a doctorate, not only because I want to teach but also because now I find this subject is worthy.
BC- It’s addictive isn’t it? All this learning!
RS – Yeah! Now I feel I have enough knowledge and I feel I have enough equipment. For instance, I’d like to finish my PhD or DMA diploma with a lecture about these pieces and instruments and actually play them on the concert. So now I am in a period of my life where I’m really inspired to do this. I feel I’ve found the perfect subject for the PhD. I thought I would do the PhD when I’m 50 or 60, because then I would really have enough knowledge to be a doctor. But now I believe this is strong enough of a subject that I can do it soon.
I’m spending time on these subjects… I have a CD called On my Way. And the first four tracks are a Bach minor violin sonata. And I have liked this piece very much, [ever] since I was 15 or 16. And I practiced and played [it] in concerts and performed it, but I never was really satisfied or felt it was right to put on a recording. And then one day, I felt now… now I have everything for this piece. I can play the second movement fugue and see all the structure that Bach imagined. Now I know the first movement because I’ve analyzed more cantatas. I understand now what Bach wanted.
BC – The past several years you’ve had some great orchestral opportunities in addition to your new position in Budapest. Can you tell us about your experiences over the years?
RS – I had a concert in Switzerland once and at the same time Gene Pokorny was doing a master class there and he heard my recital. Afterwards he came to speak with me. He said, “you play really well. I would like to help you somehow.” He helped me a lot with one of my first really serious orchestra experiences. There is a World Orchestra for Peace that was established by George Solti in 1995. This orchestra is based on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and about 40% of the orchestra are CSO musicians and the other 60% of the orchestra are the favorites of Solti selected from everywhere all around the world. Of course Solti was lucky with Gene because he’s one of the best tuba players in the world and plays in Chicago. But one time, Gene was busy or just didn’t want to go on tour and he recommended me to the orchestra manager, Charles Kaye. Charles said, “Look, I’ve never heard of you but if Gene Pokorny says that this guy is good enough to take part in this fantastic orchestra, then I have to believe him. So, do you want to join?” I said “Yes!” Such amazing musicians were next to me like Mark Lawrence on trombone, Randy Hawes on bass trombone, Gail Williams on Horn! That was one of my first real serious orchestra experiences because the first concert we played was in Royal Albert Hall in London and then Berlin and then Moscow and then Beijing. It was a very serious program, Meistersinger Overture, which I played on F tuba, Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, and an Esa-Pekka Salonen world premiere piece. That was my first first-class orchestra experience. And since then I have joined every second tour. Gene is so good to me that I’ll do one tour then he does the next tour. He’s sharing this opportunity with me. I’m very thankful toward him.
I have [recently] had the chance to go to Hong Kong and play with their great orchestra as guest principal tuba for one season. This orchestra is really good; the musicians are fantastic and mainly from a younger generation. The orchestra has good support from the government and has sponsors as well. They can really… let me say an ugly word here, they really can buy the best conductors and the best soloists. For example Vladimir Davidovich Ashkenazy, Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang… as you can see they get real top artists. I had the opportunity to play with Jaap van Zweden, who is a big start here in the States. He won conductor of the year either this year or last year here in the US. And he is the only conductor who is engaged for all the big orchestras in the US in the same season. So I played Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony with him. He’s now the music director for the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra. The past music director was Ado de Waart. I played Parsifal and Don Quixote with him; I really had a fantastic season with the orchestra. It was not only a good experience to play in that orchestra but also to learn about a new culture in Asia. I loved my colleagues and I miss them, but I have new colleagues now in Hungary.
I came back from Hong Kong on the 8th or 9th of July and the audition for the Hungarian National Orchestra, the top orchestra in Hungary, was on the 19th of July. This was the position of Laszlo Szabo, my Professor. Of course I applied, and I only had 10 days with my F tuba because in Hong Kong I could only play CC tuba. So I practiced 10 days with the F tuba; the CC tuba felt good. It was a big competition between the top 20 Hungarian tuba players. And I have to tell you, all the tuba players that applied for this job could be playing in the orchestra. But I guess I was the luckiest that day and I won the position. I’m really happy to be the principal tuba of the Hungarian National Orchestra.
BC – I understand you teach a great deal. Where would aspiring students find you for a lesson?
RS – Unfortunately there are strict rules [in Hungary] that I’m not allowed to teach in a university. But hopefully I will someday. So mainly I teach privately or in master classes. I’m happy to visit the United States more often because there are really a lot of new and enthusiastic players around. This is really exciting to see and have an opportunity to work with these students.
BC – Obviously every day is different, but what is a typical day in the life of Roland Szentpali? You seem to have a pretty crazy schedule with all the various things you do.
RS – Two things are very typical… in the morning I wake up, and in the evening I go to sleep (laughs). What happens in between is up to the schedule. So sometimes I just have no clue what day it is, and sometimes I wake up at 3am in a hotel and then for the first 20 seconds I have no clue what city I am in! But if I am in my own home and not touring and traveling… There are differences when I am preparing for a concert, solo or orchestra, and when I am in a period where I am mainly composing something.
When I am preparing for a concert, I always practice in the morning for at least a half an hour. It gives me a better feeling for the rest of the day. Knowing that I have already done something before lunch… it just feels better to play throughout the day because I’ve already “warmed up,” even though I don’t really do warm up exercises. Then I read new music. Usually when I’m having breakfast I’m looking at the music and trying to analyze what is difficult, what is the construction, how it became a composition. Then when I start to practice I already have a good idea of what is going to happen.
For example, when I would prepare for a competition I would never practice everything all at the same time. First, I only practiced the first movement of the first round piece. And my goal in that first day was to get through everything from a technical standpoint. Maybe just the first four lines, so I can really have accurate and detailed practice on the material and I feel at the end of my practice that “I have succeeded!” To feel success, to feel satisfaction, is one of the most important things. There is a lot of pressure in the music world: “I have to earn money, I have to do my job very well, I have to play very well.” We have to find a healthy balance between the things that we have to do and success. For example, if today you decide that you want to perfect the first four lines of the Plog, you can do it! You will feel good. To be able to survive one movement makes you less happy then to master the first four lines. So then I would build up the first round in one month, and then the next round in maybe two weeks and the last round in another two weeks. Then when I go back to playing the music of the first round, it’s refreshing and a pleasure to play. It’s once again new, yet I know it. And then the second round as the same, it’s fresh yet well polished. So this is how I practice at home, to always split apart what I need to do and always succeed with something. I want to feel satisfied. It makes me happy. I feel I am doing something good every day.
When I’m not preparing for something specific, I do more basic things [with my playing]. Just building a better relationship with the tuba. Testing how far I can go with dynamics, “how soft can I play that melody?” Just having the experience and testing the instrument and myself. And I’m searching for new repertoire. For example, I’ll just pick up some music, probably 14 different pieces. Stuff for violin, viola, cello, or maybe oboe or bassoon, put it on the music stand and read a little bit. If I find something interesting, I’ll play it and see if it works well with the tuba or not, if it’s comfortable to play or not.
BC – What composers from your homeland got you excited about music early on in your musical training?
RS – Definitely Bartok and Kodaly, because these composers flow everywhere in Hungary. Because of the choir culture in Hungary we sing a lot of Kodaly; in the music school we played Kodaly choral music with instruments. I find this very interesting because I find we need to play more like string players or singers. Øystein is awesome. He really can sing with the tuba. It’s not tuba playing, it’s singing! This is why he is so special; people can feel this special sound and voice. Of course the folk music is strong here too. And of course Bartok is the idol. His compositional ideas and how he builds things up… his pieces are just awesome. I also love Brahms very much, and Tchaikovsky. And of course Bach is the oracle, the foundation.
BC – Thank you so much for your time, Roland.
RS – Thank you very much. This was really special!
Szentpali with the author, P. Blake Cooper.
P. Blake Cooper is currently completing a DMA in tuba performance at the University of Southern California, where he studies with Jim Self. Cooper also holds degrees from UT-Austin and the University of Kentucky.