Chicago Philharmonic Violinist Stephen Boe


Stephen BoeQ. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

A. My father brought home a violin when I was five years old.  I still remember him carrying a small violin case down the basement steps to show me my new violin.  Music was always in my life.  My mother is a very fine singer and my father was Professor of Organ and Dean of the Conservatory at Oberlin College.  I was extremely lucky to participate in the musical environment of the college.  I studied with the violin professors, played chamber music with the college students and had as my pianist for lessons and recitals Robert Spano, who was a student at that time.

Q. What do you like about the Chicago Philharmonic’s ensemble approach in creating music?
A. If I had to pick one genre of music as my favorite it would be chamber music.  I owe a lot to all my teachers and coaches but one of my coaches in particular infected me with his total love of chamber music.  I have a feeling that my colleagues in the Chicago Philharmonic also share this passion.

Q. What new endeavors would you like to see the Chicago Philharmonic pursue in the future?
A. I have been very happy to participate in the chamber music concerts that the Chicago Philharmonic has been sponsoring.  My vote would be to try and expand these series of concerts to as many venues as possible.

Q. What are you reading at the moment?
A. Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Q. What favorite music are you listening to?

A. Right now I am listening to an old LP of William Primrose and Rudolf Firkusny playing the Brahms Sonatas.

Q. What do you like to do as a hobby?
A. Coaching my daughter’s soccer team has been a great joy for me.  I have also become very excited about skiing having learned as an adult inspired by my children.  Someday when I have time I will add practicing golf so I can say that I play golf and yes I do like practicing.

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