Name: Cathy Biagini
Years with the Redlands Symphony: 5 years
Hometown: Seattle, WA
What other groups do you play with?
Burbank Phil, Santa Cecilia Orch, Thousand Oaks Phil, Riverside Phil, Kadima String Quartet, Pasadena Sym, New West Sym. Downey Sym.
Where did you study music?
- The University of Washington – Bachelor of Science in Clinical Dietetics (But I never worked as a dietitian. I got into an orchestra my Senior year!)
- Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance
- Festivals: Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC/Spoleto, Italy, Bear Valley Festival – CA, Coos Bay Festival - OR
Who are your favorite composers?
Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, anyone Romantic!!
What are your favorite pieces to play/and or hear?
- Strauss – Alpine Symphony
- Holst – The Planets
- Brahms – Sextet in B Major
- Mendelssohn – Piano Trio in d minor
- Schumann – Piano Quintet
- Puccini – Madame Butterfly, Tosca, La Boheme
- Rachmaninoff Symphony #2, Piano Concerto #2, Vocalise
- Elgar Cello Concerto
- Vaughn – Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
- Verdi Requiem
- Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence
- Barber Violin Concerto
- John Williams Theme from Schindler’s List
What was your most memorable performance?
Performing the Verdi Requiem in front of a duomo (church) in Italy to a massive crowd was one of my favorites. The audience went absolutely ballistic when we finished, clapping for a very long time, like we were rock stars!
What was your proudest moment as a musician?
Whenever I play a concerto with an orchestra, because I have worked at least 6 months on each concerto. I don’t play it perfectly, but I play with all my heart!
What was the most interesting or bizarre performance experience you’ve had?
I was principal of Savannah Symphony and we had a runout to the Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia. They built a platform over the swamp for the concert, and since I was principal, I sat near the edge. I was warned, then, not to sit too close to the edge because of the crocodiles! I backed up immediately!
Have you used this time at home to develop any new hobbies?
Since COVID, I have learned how to bake bread and I have become quite good at it. I make Brioche, Almond Croissants, Pain Aux Raisin, French Bread, Rosemary Olive Bread, and many more.
Also since COVID, I have been doing Paint-By-Numbers and loving the detail work with my hands.
Can you share a little about your family?
My husband, Steve, is a music librarian with the LA Philharmonic. He’s actually a cellist. We met at Spoleto Festival. He was my stand partner. The romance started in Italy!
Our son, Seth, is a cellist with Oregon Symphony, graduated from Juilliard with a BM/MM. Our daughter, Sarah, is a violinist, recently graduated from Cleveland Institute of Music with a BM/MM, and awaiting for auditions to open up.
Have you taken on any other jobs you’re passionate about?
I recently accepted the position as a cellist with the Kadima String Quartet, and I am also a faculty member at the Kadima Conservatory of Music. The job takes up about 25 hours a week, and has it has definitely become a big part of my life.
On a non-musical note, I am the Children’s Supervisor for Bible Study Fellowship in Pasadena. My job includes training 18 teachers to teach 100+ children from birth to 6 years old about God and the Bible. I am also part of the staff that oversees about 500 women who are part of the Bible Study. It’s a big job indeed!
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