Featured Alumni of the Week: Justine Lamb-Budge

Justine Lamb-Budge, violin

JustineLamb-BudgetcreditPeteChecchia-2 Justine Lamb-Budge is the Concertmaster of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Concertmaster of the Akron Symphony Orchestra. She recently held the position of Principal Second violinist of Symphony in C, and was Associate Concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during the 12-13 season. She also frequently performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where she was a finalist for the violin opening this year. Justine has participated in the Verbier, Tanglewood, NYSOS, and Aspen music festivals, and has been fortunate to work with such celebrated conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Neeme Järvi, Gianandrea Noseda, and Valery Gergiev, among others.

A Philadelphia native, Justine was drawn early to the violin and began Suzuki violin studies at age six. At age eight, she joined the Main Line Youth Chamber Orchestra and performed with them at the Academy of Music. She then became a student of Kimberly Fisher, Principal Second of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

As a soloist, Justine has won several competitions and subsequently performed with orchestras such as the Ocean City Pops, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, the Federal Way Symphony of Seattle, the Old York Road Symphony, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, and the Independence Sinfonia. In 2007, she performed as a soloist at the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan, P.R., with the Festival of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Americas (FOSJA) under the direction of Luis Biava. She also performed as soloist with the National Philharmonic during the 12-13 season. In addition, she’s performed in many significant venues including the Union League of Philadelphia, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, The Strathmore Center, The Academy of Music, Verizon and Perelman Halls at the Kimmel Center, Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Frauenkirche in Dresden, Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, and Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

We initiated a conversation with Justine about her beginnings in music, as well as her inspirations and aspirations. Please visit us again to see many more of our featured alumni, and stay updated on their outstanding success!

What piece of music would you be willing to play over and over again?
Schumann’s Traumerei. It is hauntingly beautiful, and simultaneously devastating and hopeful.

Do you play any other instruments?
It’s in everyone’s best interest if I stick to violin. Pianos are not my friend. I do a mean pizzicato on bass though.

What is your favorite piece of music to perform?
Picking one piece is horribly difficult, but I guess I’d have to say the Sibelius Violin Concerto. It has such personal meaning for me, and I absolutely love performing it.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I love to curl up with a good book and cuddle with my dog Chase or cat Lulu. I also love baking and skiing.

Who are your major influences/inspirations? 
Musically, my mentors Kim Fisher, Ida Kavafian, Joseph Silverstein, and Bill Preucil, as well as my friends and colleagues. I find that performing with musicians who love what they do are the most rewarding and inspiring experiences. Personally, I am constantly inspired by my parents.

What is your earliest musical memory?                                                                                            My earliest musical memory is hearing my mother singing and playing the piano at Christmastime with my sisters crowding around to join in.

What was the first piece of music that you fell in love with?
J.H. Fiocco’s “Allegro” in Suzuki book six. I worked through my family’s European skiing vacation to have it memorized by the time we got back, so that my teacher would allow me to perform it with his other students at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

What was your most memorable musical moment?
I’m lucky because it’s hard to choose just one! But one that comes to mind is the first time I played in the Curtis Symphony Orchestra after I became a student. I remember being awed at the sound created, and the innate musicality of the people surrounding me. It was a very happy and exciting moment to be apart of the group.

How has the Philadelphia International Music Festival shaped your musical career?
PIMF is a music camp that changed my life, and my career. Coming to the festival led to meeting Kim Fisher, who offered to teach me. After I began studying with her a couple months later, my whole world changed. I saw what my life could be like, if I worked hard enough. She taught me not only how to improve, but how to listen carefully, and learn to teach myself. And when it was time, she selflessly encouraged me to move on and audition for Curtis, where again my life changed. Sending me to PIMF, to experience master classes and lessons from world class artists, learn chamber music, enter competitions, and play in orchestra, was the best decision my mom could have made. I also met my best friend in the world, and she and her family changed my life.

Is there any chance you would be willing to teach at a summer music camp such as PIMF sometime in the near future?
Teaching at PIMF is something I have looked forward to for a long time. I absolutely love the experience of teaching, and what it teaches me.

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