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Meet the Musicians

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Laurie Kennedy, principal viola

Oct 24 2018

Laurie Brown Kennedy has been principal violist and frequent soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra since 1981. She was the featured soloist with the PSO in 1997 for the opening of the newly-renovated Merrill Auditorium. More recently she was soloist with violinist/conductor, Joseph Silverstein, in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante.

She is well known as a chamber music artist throughout the Northeast. She has performed every summer for over thirty years at the Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival, a 5-week chamber music series in Harrison, Maine. For many years she has been Music Director of this festival, creating the programs and hiring artists from around the country, and designing and narrating the popular Music for Kids programs. She is also founder, co-director, and violist with Maine Mountain Chamber Music, which has presented a spring and fall series at the University of Maine at Farmington since 2002. She teaches viola, violin and chamber music in the Farmington area.

At the age of 21, she joined the viola section of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and later served as principal violist for the Vancouver Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic. A native of Massachusetts, she received her Bachelors degree from Smith College with Distinction, and her Masters, as well as the coveted Performers Certificate from Indiana University School of Music. Kennedy has resided in Carthage, Maine since 1981. She is an avid gardener and enjoys hiking, camping, yoga and traveling.

Where did you grow up? Amherst, Massachusetts

Where do you currently live? Carthage, Maine

What instrument do you play? Viola

Educational background: Master of Music and Performer’s Certificate, Indiana University School of Music
Smith College AB with Distinction

Personal Information (family, pets, kids, etc.): Two daughers, Katie and Julia

How did you get started in music? My mother was a professional violinist and teacher, and my siblings and I all started instrument lessons very early.

What non-PSO musical activities do you participate in? Music Director, violist: Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival, Harrison, Maine, a 5-week summer chamber music series.
Co-director, violist: Maine Mountain Chamber Music, a series at University of Maine, Farmington.
Choral Arts, Portland Ballet, Portland Chamber Music Festival, First Parish Church, chamber music festivals in US and abroad.

What is your favorite PSO memory to date? Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Also, when the camel first appeared on stage during Magic of Christmas.

Describe a typical day: No day is typical. Take a walk or ski, or work in the garden, practice, teach, go to rehearsals, answer emails, cook, do the dishes, take the compost out, fill the woodstove.

What is the question you’re asked most often when you tell people you play with the PSO? Do you get paid?

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job? I never did anything else for money. I can’t imagine what I’d do.

Non-musical hobbies: Camping, hiking, skiing, yoga, gardening, traveling.

What is your favorite music? Bach, Mozart, Mahler, Bartok, Beethoven.

Do you teach? If so, how can people get in touch with you? Yes, (207) 562-8890 or lbkennedy47@gmail.com

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