The Rookies' Summer Season

Classic Arts Features   The Rookies' Summer Season
After the New York Philharmonic's summer concerts, the musicians of the Orchestra disperse. Lucy Kraus Checked in with the Orchestra's newest members to find out their plans.


When the New York Philharmonic's busy schedule pauses during the summer, the musicians take to the hills : with or without their instruments. Some play in summer festivals, while others choose R&R before the start of the new season in September.

Cara Kizer Aneff, who joined the New York Philharmonic in April 2010 as assistant Principal and Utility Horn, is the Orchestra's newest member. She is planning to spend a few weeks with family in her native Texas before heading to a cabin at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with her husband, Benjamin. "We've been there once so far," she explains. "We relax, hike, and go rafting. We love the picturesque scenery, and the wildlife there is fantastic!" Ms. Aneff, who has been a substitute player with the Orchestra since January 2007, is the first female member of the Philharmonic's horn section.

Violinst Quan Ge, who joined the Philharmonic in June 2009, will spend her vacation this summer in her native China. First stop: Shanghai, to visit her teacher and some fellow classmates from middle school and high school at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. "Most of us are scattered around the world," she says, "and we may try to have a reunion." Then it will be home, to the small city of Huainan in the north central part of Anhui Province, for an annual visit with her family. On her way back to New York she will stop again in Shanghai, where she will perform Mozart duets with a violist friend. "I try to go to China every year," she explains. "This time it will be for about six weeks. Still, it doesn't feel long when I'm there."

Assistant Principal Librarian Sara Griffin, who joined the Philharmonic in September 2009, and her husband, Jeremy, a marketing executive, hope to visit family in Missouri and then head to the beaches of assateague Island, off the Virginia and Maryland coasts, where wild ponies roam free. "There are campgrounds right on the beach," she says. "It's so beautiful. and we can take our dog!"

Violinist Hyunju Lee, who joined the Philharmonic in June 2009, will parlay the Orchestra's July residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival into a trip to Hartsel, Colorado, to visit her husband's parents. "I usually visit Saratoga Springs in august, when my husband, Marvin Moon, a violist, is playing there as a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra," she explains. Conflicting orchestra vacations make it difficult for the couple to schedule trips together, however, and Ms. Lee, a native of Seoul, South korea, says that she hasn't taken a "real vacation" since she joined the Philharmonic. Previously, however, she could be seen enjoying the scenery around Las Vegas, or the dolphins in Miami.

Associate Principal Trombone Amanda Davidson, who joined the Philharmonic in September 2009, will be spending her august vacation visiting family in Maryland and Texas, after taking her honeymoon! On June 6 the first female trombonist in the New York Philharmonic married Mark Davidson, also a trombonist, who plays with the San Antonio Symphony. In May, as she was anticipating her honeymoon, she said: "We're going to Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, and I can't wait!"


Lucy Kraus is the senior Publications editor at the New York Philharmonic.

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