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Francesca Manheim, Second Violin

Francesca Manheim started the Suzuki method for violin at age 4. The ensemble she grew up playing as a soloist with in Cape Cod, Mass., won a Kiwanis Canadian Ensemble Prize. Later, she was awarded the Cape Cod Symphony Scholarship. Manheim received her bachelor's degree from New England Conservatory and went on to play with the New World Symphony directed by Michael Tilson Thomas where they toured Japan and United Kingdom. Her quartet at New World Symphony was chosen for performances in Miami, New York and Montana. She has enjoyed playing chamber music with the Colorado String Quartet when they performed in Woods Hole, Mass., with Jean-Pierre Rampal. Other chamber music performances have included the Kent/Blossom Chamber Festival led by Cleveland Orchestra and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. Her orchestral experiences include Naples Philharmonic, National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival, and she also has performed in Hungary and Austria. These performances included playing under conductors such as Eiji Oue, Christoff Dochnyani, Leonard Slatkin, Sir George Solti and Joseph Silverstein.

Ten questions about me:

What is your earliest musical memory?

When I was playing on a 1/16th size violin, my Suzuki teacher looked directly at me out of about forty other students and said "Don't you take your eyes off of me!" From then on my eyes were glued to her.

How did you choose your instrument?

My father started my older sister and brother and I all together on the violin. I never questioned whether I should play another instrument.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?

When I joined the Boston Youth Symphony in the high school years when Eiji Oue directed it, I felt excited about playing in an orchestra and knowing that's what I wanted to do.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

I feel deeply connected to the music I play and it is rewarding when I can touch people's hearts. Whether I'm one of 80 players or playing in a quartet, I'm helping in relaying the composer's expressions.

What is the most challenging work for your instrument?

To play precisely in tune, in tempo, and the right volume/dynamic all at once in unison with fourteen other violinists.

Other than your Kansas City Symphony concerts, where else can audiences catch you performing in town?

With the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Brookside String Quartet.