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Kathryn Picht Read

Musicians Behind the Scenes: Kathryn Picht Read

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on November 02, 2022

Where were you born? I was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? The Bach Cello Suites.

What is your most treasured possession? My 1844 Postacchini cello and my Lamy bow. 

Tell us about your instrument. I own a cello made by Andrea Postacchini, dated 1844. It’s a big, “boxy” instrument and is unique in that the top is in four parts and the back is slab cut with some very interesting knot holes, expertly patched by the maker! It’s a very stable instrument and has a warm, mellow sound. 

What’s in your instrument case? My instrument, two bows, a cloth for wiping rosin, extra strings, rosin, an extra mute, and a pencil.

When did you join the Orchestra? In 1979. I happen to be the last musician that Eugene Ormandy hired.

Do you play any other instruments? Yes, some piano.

What books are on your nightstand? Meredith Hall’s Beneficence, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, and Richard Powers’s Bewilderment.
Do you speak any other languages? A bit of German.

Do you have any hobbies? I enjoy road biking and many aspects of the textile arts, including knitting and stitching.

What’s the last recording you purchased? Our recording of Florence Price’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Carnegie Hall.

Photo: Jessica Griffin

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