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Noah Geller, Concertmaster, Miller Nichols Chair

Violinist Noah Geller has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. At the invitation of Music Director Michael Stern, Geller became the Kansas City Symphony concertmaster in 2012. He has since appeared frequently as soloist with the Symphony. He made his solo recording debut on the Kansas City Symphony’s most recent release with Reference Recordings featuring music by Saint-Säens. In addition to his activities at the Symphony, Geller is an enthusiastic music educator. Upon his arrival in Kansas City, he was appointed to the position of adjunct associate professor of violin at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Geller began his professional career in the first violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2007 while still pursuing his master’s degree. He served as acting assistant concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Geller also has performed as guest concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the China National Symphony Orchestra (Beijing). An active chamber musician, Geller has performed at the Marlboro, Kingston, Saratoga, Heartland and Taos festivals, and he has appeared on the Lyon and Healy (Chicago), Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Lyric Chamber Music Society (New York) series, among others. He is an original member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the music of composers whose lives were adversely affected by the Holocaust. During the past two years, Geller has organized and presented concerts by Shir Ami for the Kansas City community, garnering remarkable support and enthusiasm. Geller grew up in the Chicago area, studying privately with Jennifer Cappelli. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Hyo Kang, Donald Weilerstein and Cho-Liang Lin. Geller currently lives in Kansas City with his wife, percussionist Mari Yoshinaga, and their dog, Monkey. He performs on a violin made by Andreas Postacchini c. 1840.

Ten questions about me:

What is your earliest musical memory?

My earliest musical memories are of my father, who was the cantor in our synagogue. His powerful voice was always a source of wonder to me as a young boy.

How did you choose your instrument?

I chose the violin at the age of 5 without the knowledge of the tremendous amount of work it would take to make it sound good.

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

At age 14, I attended a music festival where older kids were talking about pursuing music as their careers. This was the first time it crossed my mind as a possibility. After I made the decision to focus on the violin as my future profession, I stuck with it firmly.

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

This orchestra is filled with top notch artists and wonderful personalities. It is rare to find a more friendly group of people who are so excellent in performance. It has truly been a joy to perform here!

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

I've only been here a month, but so far, each concert is inspiring and exciting for me. Our performances of the Brahms 4th Symphony (one of my absolute favorites) will stay with me for a long time.

What's your "top pick" for downtown dining, or for a post-concert drink or dessert?

I live in the crossroads. I'm very excited about the opening of the Jacobson at 21st and Northwestern, which I've dubbed my new cafeteria since its so close to home.

What is the one item you must have on a desert island?

A coconut and a bottle of rum.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Becoming Concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. It is truly a blessing and an honor to be here.

What are three of your favorite movies?

I've been on a major Al Pacino kick recently. Like music, movies are hard to rank, but the Godfather trilogy, Scent of a Woman, and Donnie Brasco are three of the most recent movies I've seen--and well worth it!

Which is favorite BBQ place in Kansas City?

Oklahoma Joe's Ribs!!