Kathleen Foster, Cello

Where did you grow up? Toledo, Ohio

Where do you currently live? Green Creek, NC

What instrument do you play? Cello

Educational background: BS in Music Indiana University with teachers Janos Starker, Fritz Magg; MM in Music Bowling Green State University with teacher Peter Howard; Post-grad cello studies with George Neikrug

Personal Information (family, pets, kids, etc.): I have two children. My daughter lives and works in Maine. She is passionate about Ballroom dancing and competes regularly. My son is in Americorp for his year after graduating from U of M. I now live on a farm where I have a big garden, 16 chickens, four guineas, three horses, two dogs and five cats. I love living in the country and my animals love it.

How did you get started in music? My parents were both musicians. I began on violin and switched to cello in second grade when I was deemed big enough to handle the cello.

What non-PSO musical activities do you participate in? I play chamber music in the Lawson Trio and Rutherford Consort. I am also a member of the Asheville Symphony and the Spartanburg Philharmonic. I teach cello for the Lawson academy of Converse College.

What’s your favorite PSO memory to date? Magic Of Christmas is a very special show. There is nothing to compare to playing the singalongs and hearing 2,000 people in the audience on one side of me and the orchestra and chorus on the other. Everyone knows and loves those carols and to me, that is an incredible moment.

Describe a typical day: As a freelance musician my days are not all the same. Some days I teach much of the day. Other days are more individual practice and orchestra or chamber music rehearsal. Now that I am on the farm, my days do all begin with feeding the animals and letting the chickens out to roam.

What is the question you’re asked most often when you tell people you play with the PSO? How do you make such great music with so few rehearsals?

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job? I can not imagine doing anything else with my life. I love the combination of playing and teaching. They each make the other more interesting. I might add more study of Feldenkrais as it is so helpful for teaching and playing.

Any non-musical hobbies? Gardening and horseback riding

What is your favorite music? What are you currently listening to? Any Mahler or Brahms…love the romantics!

Who or what has been your greatest influence, musical or otherwise? George Neikrug. He is the greatest cello teacher and has inspired me to go beyond in my teaching and playing.

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