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Stirling Trent, Acting Associate Concertmaster

A native of Colleyville, Texas, violinist Stirling Trent has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. While a resident of Southern California, he performed in many of the region’s top ensembles, such as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Pasadena Master Chorale. He also served as Concertmaster for a number of exciting new ensembles, such as the Symbiosis Ensemble, based out of Los Angeles, and the Arizona Chamber Orchestra, out of Phoenix. Previously a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Stirling is currently the acting Associate Concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. Notable concert appearances by Mr. Trent include Live from Lincoln Center with Itzhak Perlman, as well as a series at Carnegie Hall in 2003 in which he was concertmaster for the New York String Orchestra under Jaime Laredo. In 2007, Stirling sat as concertmaster for the Moritzburg Festival Academy Orchestra under Hermann Bäumer, in Dresden, Germany. Mr. Trent has won numerous awards, including Grand Prizes from the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras’ Juanita Miller Competition, the Dallas Symphonic Festival, and the Hubbard Chamber Music Festival. In 1999, he received the inaugural Bayard Friedman Award for an Outstanding Student in the Performing Arts. His international competition experience includes the Sixth Quadrennial International Violin Competition in Indianapolis, the Geneva International Music Competition, the Queen Elisabeth Competition for violinists in Brussels, Belgium, the 5th Seoul International Music Competition, in Seoul, South Korea, and the 4th Sendai International Music Competition, in Sendai, Japan. Stirling has received lessons and master classes from Charles Avsharian, David Cerone, Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Elmar Oliveira, Arnold Steinhardt, Sally Thomas, and Pinchas Zukerman. He has been privileged to work with members of such renowned chamber groups as the Emerson, St. Lawrence, Schoenberg, Brentano, Orford, Fine Arts, Guarneri and Tokyo string quartets. Mr. Trent is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Itzhak Perlman. In addition to his Bachelor’s degree from Juilliard, he studied for many years with Jan Mark Sloman, the Associate Principal Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, and earned an Artist Certificate from Southern Methodist University. In addition to performing, Stirling spends summers teaching and mentoring at the Idyllwild Summer Arts Academy, in the mountains of Southern California. Stirling holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California, where his principal teacher was Midori Goto.

Ten questions about me:

Who do you consider is the most inspiring composer?

To me, the life and work of Beethoven is very inspiring, notably the way he grew as an artist over his lifetime, overcoming hearing loss while pushing the boundaries of classical forms.

Where is your favorite place to hang out?

I am happy anywhere with trees and wildlife.

What is your most memorable performance with the Kansas City Symphony?

While there have been many memorable performances in my time so far, I particularly enjoyed performing Britten's War Requiem.

What are three of your favorite movies?

The Big Lebowski, Rushmore, and Stand By Me

Are you the only musician in your family?

I grew up in a musical family, with a sister who played cello, and a brother who played viola. Our parents, while not professional musicians, had enough of a musical background to get us started, and understood the value that a musical education could provide.

What quality do you most admire in others?

I think the most admirable quality in an individual is empathy.

When you were young, did you enjoy practicing?

Over the years, I've come to enjoy practicing more and more, but as a child it was not something I looked forward to. It was my parents' firm but supportive encouragement that helped when it came to putting in the hours.

How do you spend your off-season or summer months?

I spend my summers split between visiting family and friends in Colorado, and teaching and performing in Idyllwild, California.

What is your earliest musical memory?

Although I barely remember it now, when I was four or five years old, I would walk around the house with my 1/8th size violin playing music from the movie "Top Gun", much to my parents' amusement.

What is your hometown?

I was born and raised in the mid-cities between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.