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Oberlin Club of Washington, DC: The Life of A Symphony Musician: A Perspective from Two Oberlin Members of The National Symphony Orchestra

Oberlin Club of Washington, DC: The Life of A Symphony Musician: A Perspective from Two Oberlin Members of The National Symphony Orchestra

“The Life of A Symphony Musician: A Perspective from Two Oberlin Members of The National Symphony Orchestra”

A Zoom Conversation with Violinists Daniel Foster ’91 and Jing Qiao ’11
Co-sponsored by the Network of Oberlin Asian Alumni (NOAA)

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Many of us have enjoyed an outing at the Kennedy Center to hear the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), and also have followed their exploits in stories about performances on the road. For many musicians, membership in a symphony orchestra is a career goal. What’s life like for musicians who have earned positions in major orchestras? What are the unseen demands from rehearsals and performance schedules? What is the off-season regimen? What are the rewards and excitement of being in the NSO? Join two Obies who will share their experiences and insight about life in a prominent musical organization and getting there.

Daniel Foster ’91 is the Principal Violist in the National Symphony Orchestra. His career encompasses orchestral, chamber and solo playing, and teaching. After capturing the First Prize in both the William Primrose and Washington International Competitions, he was appointed by Mstislav Rostropovich to the National Symphony’s viola section in 1993, and was appointed Principal by Music Director Leonard Slatkin in 1995. Daniel has appeared frequently as soloist with the National Symphony since his appointment. He has been a member of the critically acclaimed Dryden Quartet, along with his two cousins Nicolas and Yumi Kendall and National Symphony Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef, and is a founding member of the Kennedy Center Chamber Players. Daniel is on the faculty at the University of Maryland and has given master classes at the Oberlin and Peabody Conservatories, the University of Michigan, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His father William ’66 was a violist with the National Symphony from 1968-2018, and his late grandfather John Kendall ’39 was a renowned violin pedagogue. Daniel graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His wife Adria Sternstein Foster is the principal flutist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

Jing Qiao ’11 is in the first violin section of the NSO. She was appointed by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda in 2018. Jing is a regular substitute violinist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Music of Baroque ensemble in Chicago. As a versatile musician, she has performed in orchestras across Europe, Asia and North America. Jing grew up in YaAn in Sichuan province China, before going to Oberlin. She graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory and holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University. She is married to Ben Reitz ’07 who majored in Classics.

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Oberlin Club of Washington, DC: The Life of A Symphony Musician: A Perspective from Two Oberlin Members of The National Symphony Orchestra

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