Chicago Philharmonic Violinist Ann Palen

Ann PalenQ. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

A. I was introduced to music at an early age and throughout my childhood, it was just a part of life.  As I got older, I had the good fortune of working with wonderful teachers and musicians.  They opened up a fascinating, exciting world for me that I wanted to be a part of.

Q. What do you like most about the CPO’s ensemble approach to creating music?
A. Chicago Philharmonic chooses great orchestral repertoire that is so much fun to play.  It brings together musicians who love what they do, and we always learn from our conductors, Larry Rachleff and Joel Smirnoff.  The audience listens and appreciates the music at such a high level.  It is a privilege to play these concerts.

Q. What advice do you have for young people entering music now?
A. While the discipline of playing an instrument can be all-consuming, it is important to strive for a balanced life.  Have other interests, do other things, make friends with people who are not musicians.  If you spend your whole life in a practice room, you’ll miss out!

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