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William Polk


Violinist William Polk believes that the symphony orchestra is humanity’s finest artistic institution; it is a format developed over centuries that allows for infinite possibilities of tonal color and musical expression; it is a community of 100 plus artists working together on stage to transmit pure musical thought to the minds of a live audience; it is a beautiful microcosm of society as it could be. Mr. Polk has performed as an orchestral musician with orchestras across the United States. He currently serves as a member of the first violin section of The Philadelphia Orchestra, having joined the ensemble in 2007. He previously served as associate principal second violin of the Minnesota Orchestra beginning in 2005. Prior to that he was guest principal second violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

An active chamber musician, Mr. Polk is a member of the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble, the oldest continuously performing chamber music ensemble in the Delaware Valley. The group presents concerts throughout the year at Historic Old Pine St. Church (1768) in the heart of Society Hill. He also enjoys performing chamber music with his Philadelphia Orchestra colleagues and others at various venues throughout the region and at music festivals throughout the country. Together with his wife, Kerri Ryan, now assistant principal viola of The Philadelphia Orchestra, violinist Vali Phillips, and cellist Joseph Johnson, Mr. Polk founded the Minneapolis Quartet, which performed to critical acclaim from 2002 to 2007 and won a McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship in 2006.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mr. Polk is an alumnus of Louisiana State University and the University of Minnesota. He is very thankful for the foundational and inspirational instruction he received from his violin teachers, Sally O’Reilly and Camilla Wicks.


Photo by Eddie Marenco

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