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Meet the Musicians

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Kathryn Sievers, viola

Oct 24 2018

What instruments do you play? viola

What is your educational background?
Teacher’s pet in 5th grade
Four different high schools
English major at Yale
Master’s of Music at Juilliard
Professional Studies at Cleveland Institute of Music

When did you start playing for the PSO? And where else do you perform? I started playing with PSO in the fall of 2012. I also work frequently with the Boston Symphony and have played with a lot of other amazing symphonies: Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, LA Phil, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Santa Fe Opera. I also go to Strings Music Festival every summer in Colorado, which is always even more beautiful than I can manage to remember.

Where did you grow up? I mostly grew up on a tropical island: Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, but also lived in Sudbury, Massachusetts part of my childhood.
Where do you currently live? I live in Arlington, Massachusetts with my husband Nicholas Urie, who is a composer and arranger, and our young daughter Flora, who is a dynamo.

Family, Pets, Kids: Our only pet is the fixer-upper we bought. Sometimes we think about getting an animal pet but then we fall asleep considering it and realize it’s for the best we don’t have the energy to follow through!

Describe a typical day. A typical day could involve explaining to my kid that it’s important to know what day of the week it is. In music, most days are different from their neighbor days, but from week to week each Tuesday is usually similar to the other Tuesdays. Ditto with the rest of the days of the week. Day of the month, less important to keep track of.

How did you get started in music? I’m a fourth kid of five, so I grew up in a noisy house, but when I was a kid I thought I was born a musician and had a hard time waiting until I was five to start playing the violin, which was my family’s rule.

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job? I would definitely like to be an advice columnist!
What is your favorite music? What are you currently listening to? My favorite music might be the Rachmaninov Vespers (Robert Shaw) or Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Ich Habe Genug, or Bach’s French Suites, or Das Lied von der Erde, or K.D. Lang singing Bird on a Wire or Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah or maybe Mahler 4, which I played tonight and which is such a great piece of music. I don’t really listen to music in the background anymore.
What are your hobbies? I love to bake, make paper models, look at birds, ride my bike on flat surfaces as a means not of exercising but enjoying a beautiful day, and do fun stuff with my family.
What or who has been your greatest influence in life? The thread of continuity in my life has probably been the pursuit of true things: people, words, ideas.
What is your favorite thing about Maine? I love to eat here and see friends from the orchestra, and I love the ocean.
What/where are your favorite places to eat in Portland? I always get fries at Duckfat. Early, good advice from a true friend, and I make sure to follow it every time I’m in town.

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