Chicago Philharmonic Violinist Brigid McCarthy


Brigid McCarthyQ. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

A. I signed up for a local string quartet seminar during the summer after seventh grade. While I prepared the second violin part for Mozart’s “Dissonance” quartet, I never anticipated the major impact this piece would have on my future. I walked into the first rehearsal to find three precocious young musicians trying to out-do each other with the hardest passages from their repertoire–there was no Mozart among the cacophony! Eventually we took our seats, and as the introduction to the first movement unfolded one instrument at a time, I felt like I was discovering the most magical music ever written. After our rehearsal I went straight to our local music store and bought a recording. I turned it on “repeat” and played along with it for the rest of the night. I was totally thrilled to know that I had the rest of my life to discover, study, and perform great masterpieces!

Q. What do you like most about the CPO’s ensemble approach to creating music?
A. I began performing with the CPO shortly after moving to Evanston a few years ago, and it has been one of my favorite gigs ever since. The musicians are first-rate artists and wonderful people. My career in music is just getting off the ground, and I look up to my more seasoned colleagues with utmost respect. It is amazing what we achieve with relatively little rehearsal time and despite the fact that we only play as an ensemble a few times a year. I can hardly wait for our next fabulous concert!

Q. What new endeavors would you like to see the CPO pursue in the future?
A. I would love to look out from the stage at Pick Staiger and see standing-room-only. Growing our audience to include people of all ages from every neighborhood in and around Chicago is a goal that we will meet as long as we continue to reach out to new listeners and present exceptional concerts. I am so proud to be a member of the CPO!

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