Featured Faculty Member of the Week / Herold Klein

Herold Klein / Violinist / The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Herold Klein

Violinist Herold Klein has been a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1971. He began studying the violin at the age of four with private teachers in Detroit, and was playing with community orchestras, including the South Oakland Symphony, by the time he was nine. He continued his studies at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan; at the Meadowmount School of Music; and at the American Federation of Musicians Congress of Strings. His teachers have included Mischa Mischakoff, Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, and Rafael Druian.

Mr. Klein entered Wayne State University in 1962, joined the Indianapolis Symphony the following year, and, in 1964, became a member of the Detroit Symphony while continuing his academic studies at Wayne State. He was a member of the United States Army Band Strolling Strings, and since 1987 he has served as concertmaster of the Greater Trenton Symphony Orchestra. Since 1991 he has enjoyed giving his time as a concertmaster of the Lansdowne Symphony. He is also a former member of the Camilli String Quartet.

At a special ceremony during its matinee subscription concert on Friday, May 28, 2010, The Philadelphia Orchestra Association presented the C. Hartman Kuhn Award to Herold Klein, a violinist with the Orchestra since 1971. Philadelphia Orchestra Association Board Chairman Richard B. Worley presented the Award.

We are continuing our conversation with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra about their beginnings in music, their inspirations and aspirations. Please join us each week to see many of your new favorites featured right here!

Q: What is your all-time, favorite movie? Dances with Wolves

 Q: Is there a genre of music, other than classical, that makes your spirit soar? Jazz

 Q: Other than music, what inspires you most? Bicycling for a cause…ending Multiple Sclerosis

 Q: Who else in your family is musical? My children, to a degree.

Q: Who first introduced you to your instrument? What do you remember about the experience?  My mother…not anything at all, really…I was 3 ½.

 Q: What is your all-time favorite piece (to play, to listen to, etc.)?  Vaughn-Williams The Lark Ascending.

 Q: What is it that you like most about this piece?  The very real birdlike audio images of a lark swooping and rapidly ascending as it travels farther and higher.

 Q: What is your perfect family dinner night?  hardly ever have time for a family sit-down dinner with grown children…I guess it would have to be Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.

 Q: Do you always have music on your mind? Not always…I often drift to thoughts of cycling, woodworking and sailing.

Q: What element or experience from your childhood still drives you today in your professional life? Pitching hay in a very hot barn hay-loft, and not stopping until the work was done, because the animals will need the hay when the weather is bad and you are not there to look after them…

Q: If you were in a classroom of 5 year-olds and they asked “Who your favorite cartoon character is,” who would it be and why? The little boy in “Family Circus”…he is so small, so gentle…whatever he does or says is so simple and lovingly human for someone so young.

 Q: What do you most enjoy teaching? When you are able to communicate in such a way that a student really understands what you are saying in a way that he or she can solve their problems from what you have helped them understand when you are not in the room while they are practicing.

Q: What changes would you implement at a grade school level to instill a greater interest in music studies? Providing more opportunities for students, whether studying music or not, to see and hear a live orchestra in rehearsal or performance. 

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when not performing? Bike riding.

 Q: What is your favorite piece to hear SOMEONE ELSE perform? Favorite is a pretty big word…not sure I can answer that question very easily.

 Q: When did you first know that you wanted to be a professional musician?  When I was in high school, and concertmaster of Michigan Youth Symphony…I just loved playing in an orchestra.

 Q: Who is your favorite musical icon, living or dead?  Eugene Ormandy, conductor, The Philadelphia Orchestra.

 Q: Do you still get nervous before a performance, and if so – how do you cope? If time permits, I go on a long bike ride…it physically and mentally helps spend nervous energy, and replaces it with a sense of calm, and focus on the music…what I want to say in the music.

 Q: What is your general practice routine?  Warm up with scales and arpeggios, then go to several problem spots, and spend quality time, not quantity time, on each spot…then, depending on how much time I have available, I’ll begin to connect the difficult spots before thinking of doing the entire work.

 Q: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now? The possibility of having a positive effect on others while coaching or teaching.

 Q: What is the most unusual musical gig in which you have ever participated? Taking a beautiful girl on a first-date to a Motown Recording Session in Detroit…we have now been married for 43 years.

 Q: Any closing thoughts for your followers, fans, and admirers?  Invest yourself…your time and energies into doing whatever it is that you love with your heart and soul..and hope that you can have a positive influence on the lives of others.




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