ViolinGeorge V. Grune Chair
Hometown: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania Member: 1990
What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
I feel very fortunate to play the violin, because I feel like music is the one truly international language that reaches deep into our souls and memory banks and has a way of uniting people. I have been able to experience so many awesome and amazing things in my life because of this. I’ve been able to travel to destinations such as Spoleto, Heidelberg, Graz, Paris and Argentina to name a few. I have been able to make a difference in people’s lives through my involvement with a program called Body & Soul, bringing live music into healthcare settings. There is nothing better than living your dream!!!
Do you have any pre-concert routines?
I incorporate exercise, good nutrition and proper rest into my daily routine, and arrive at the hall early enough to get properly warmed up so that I can perform at the highest level.
What would you be doing if you weren’t’ a professional musician?
I have known all my life that I wanted to play the violin professionally, but if I had gone into another profession, I probably would be a professional organizer, as I have helped many of my friends in their times of need.
What teacher, mentor or other influencer inspired you the most?
I have an undying love ad admiration of the late great Leonard Bernstein! He embodied the joy of music!
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy getting together with the gals for Chick Flick/Happy Hour events. I also am an avid tennis fan and love watching the big tournaments. Chamber music is a great passion of mine, and I perform regularly with the Florida Chamber Music Project, as well as other chamber groups in the Jacksonville area. I participate in a program called Body & Soul, which brings live music into healthcare settings.
What has been your favorite moment on stage?
Performing with the hilarious Victor Borge. As part of his first skit, he appeared to head towards our concertmaster to shake his hand, but decided at the last moment to head towards the second stand of first violins, where I was sitting, and shook my hand instead. I was duly embarrassed and thrilled, and didn’t wash my hand for days!!
Who is your favorite composer?
Without a doubt Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose birthday just so happens to be the day before mine.
I received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where I studied with Charles Castleman.