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Christine Grossman, Principal Viola

Born to a musical family, Christine Grossman began playing the violin at the age of 5, piano at 10 and viola at 16. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in viola performance from The Juilliard School where she studied with Heidi Castleman, Misha Amory and Hsin-Yun Huang. Her past teachers also include Roberto Diaz, Patti Kopec, Isaac Malkin and Dorothy Roffman. Before moving to Kansas City, Grossman previously held positions with the Pacific Symphony, Delaware Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. An avid chamber musician, she was formerly a member of the California Quartet, based in San Diego. Orchestral summer festivals where Grossman has participated include Tanglewood Music Center and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany), as well as principal positions with Breckenridge Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival and Crested Butte Music Festival. Other performances and festival appearances include Portland Chamber Music Festival (Maine), Laguna Beach Music Festival (California), Great Lakes Music Festival (Michigan), Festival Mozaic (California), Emerald City Music Festival (Washington), and Missouri River Festival of the Arts (Boonville, Missouri). Grossman has been the Kansas City Symphony Principal Viola since 2008. She has enjoyed several solo appearances with the orchestra, including Berlioz’ Harold in Italy, an arrangement of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” featuring solo viola as Freddie Mercury, and most recently, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra. In January 2018, Grossman was featured as an “Artist to Watch” in KC Studio magazine.

Ten questions about me:

Who do you look to for inspiration?

Yo-Yo Ma has been very inspiring for me. He is an example of an artist who not only plays beautifully, but makes every effort to connect with people and audiences in a deep and meaningful way.

What year did you join the Kansas City Symphony?

I joined the symphony in 2008.

What songs/albums are in your iPod/MP3 Player/CD Player right now?

Bach's Goldberg variations are continually in my queue. Also, I really like Bossa Nova, so I have a long and frequently-played playlist of Jobim, Gilberto, Bonfá, etc. Recently I've been listening to Don McLean quite a bit as well.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

It's fun to engage with an audience. It feels good to create beauty for others. And it feels good to give people joy.

What is your favorite quote, and by whom?

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -Anaïs Nin

What is your earliest musical memory?

My earliest musical memory is falling asleep to the sound of my mom practicing the piano after she put me and my brother to bed at night. So soothing.

What is your Kansas City Barbecue "joint" of choice?

I wasn't really a huge fan of barbecue until I went to Q39. That place converted me.

Do you have a favorite composition you like to play, or listen to?

I love to play the Passacaglia for violin and viola by Handel-Halvorsen. It's very fun to play, and to listen to. It is a total showstopper!

What would you like to be known for?

I'd like to be known as a person who leaves things better than when they found them.

Who do you consider is the most inspiring composer?

J.S. Bach. His music is sheer perfection.