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Lawrence Figg, Cello

Born in Dallas in 1963, Lawrence Figg began the cello in fourth grade strings class and later was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at age 18. After graduating in 1985, he moved to France where he lived for five years in Paris. He was a member of the Orchestre de Chambre d'Alexendre Stajic, performed a season with Pierre Boulez's Ensemble Intercomtemporain, and he was a regular recording artist for French radio and television. In 1986, he was a semi-finalist at the Tchaikovsky in Moscow and performed as soloist with several French orchestras during his stay in Paris. In 1991, he won a position as section cellist in the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine under the direction of Alain Lombard and was later appointed the to the position of assistant principal and then principal cello until 1994. Figg has been a member of the Kansas City Symphony since 1999, and he has been described as a distinguished cellist with beautiful tone and passionate, singing musicianship by the Kansas City Star.

Ten questions about me:

What is your earliest musical memory?

My parents performing together. My mother is a pianist and my father was a baritone.

How did you choose your instrument?

I knew my brother had played the cello so I wanted to try it too.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?

At the age of 15 when I saw photos of my teacher on his studio walls with Pablo Casals, I knew I wanted to be a part of this musical tradition.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

Executing an exciting and moving performance that can only be lived in that particular moment.

What is the most challenging work for your instrument?

Maintaining a high level. Practice, practice, practice!

Other than your Kansas City Symphony concerts, where else can audiences catch you performing in town?

With the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, New Ear contemporary music ensemble, Musica Sacra, the Heartland Chamber Music Academy and the Webster House Thursday chamber music series.

Who is your most inspiring composer?

J.S. Bach

What is the best part about being a musician in the Kansas City Symphony?

Seeing the incredibly rapid and exciting progression of our Symphony and moving into an awesome concert environment in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Helzberg Hall.

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

Yo-Yo Ma's performance of Don Quixote. Unbelievable!

Tell us about your family and your hobbies.

I have two wonderful sons. I also enjoy radio controlled helicopters. Very difficult!