Meet the Musician: Holly Hamilton on advice for students
Meet the Musician: Holly Hamilton on her background in music
Meet the Musician: Holly Hamilton on her violin
1. What university or conservatory did you attend?
Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and Yale University.
2. What is your favorite piece (or pieces) to play in the orchestra?
I love anything by Schubert, Mahler, and Stravinsky.
3. Do you have a pre-concert ritual or routine?
I try to take a short afternoon nap to get my second wind.
4. Describe your favorite NSO moment:
We were getting ready to play a concert in Moscow in 1990. We were changing into our clothes on the third floor of the Moscow Conservatory when we heard loud noises coming from outside. People were trying to scale the walls and crawl through the windows to hear out concert!!! I can't imagine that ever happening in this country!
5. What are three songs or pieces you love to listen to?
I love to listen to Bach on the piano and to any string quartet.
6. Did you grow up in a musical household?
Yes. My mother is 84, and is still performing on the piano. She is a professional organist and pianist and spent her career teaching piano to blind children. She is one of the few musicians who can read and teach Braille. My father, 85, plays tuba, trombone, and horn. He was the Associate Dean of the Conservatory in Kansas City where I received my bachelor's degree.
7. What did you want to be growing up?
A violinist of course!
a. When did you know you wanted to be a professional classical musician?
At age 5 when I began taking piano lessons.
8. What is your favorite thing about living in the D.C. area?
D.C. is such a great location for everything one could want! We are three hours from the beach and close enough to climb a mountain. My children got a great education here, and we are surrounded by culture and music! What's not to love? Oh, yes...the TRAFFIC!
9. Where is your favorite DC hangout?
My favorite is the YMCA. I love to exercise.
10. Do you have any pets?
Yes, a Sheltie named Chase. He loves to sleep by my side while I am teaching violin lessons.
11. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
I love to swim! I especially love swimming outside in winter! Also, I love to play chamber music with friends. My passion is teaching violin and coaching chamber music. I have my own home studio and many students, so I actually don't have much free time, but I have a great life!
12. Favorite movie:
The Sound of Music
13. Favorite book:
I read too many books to have a favorite.
14. Name one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I love birds. I have feeders and bird houses in my yard and love to watch them nestling and nibbling.
Holly, along with three NSO violin colleagues, will be featured in the upcoming Family Concerts Casey at the Bat Sunday, February 15. The four will perform “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,’ A Bench Clearing Brawl for Violin Quartet.