Noah Geller, Concertmaster, Miller Nichols Chair
Violinist Noah Geller, winner of numerous competitions and prizes, has performed throughout the United States and abroad. At the invitation of Music Director Michael Stern, Geller became the Kansas City Symphony concertmaster in 2012 and holds the Miller Nichols Chair. He has appeared as a soloist with the Symphony numerous times, including on its most recently released recording featuring music of Saint-Saëns. In addition to his duties at the Kansas City Symphony, Geller is also an enthusiastic teacher and educator. Upon his arrival in Kansas City, he was appointed the position of adjunct associate professor of violin at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Before joining the Kansas City Symphony, Geller was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra beginning in 2008, where he served as acting assistant concertmaster for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. While with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Geller performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and he regularly collaborated with the world’s finest conductors. Geller is actively involved in chamber music. He has performed at the Marlboro, Kingston, Saratoga, Heartland and Taos festivals, and he has appeared on the Lyon and Healy, Dolce Suono, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Lyric Chamber Music Society Series, among others. In addition, he is an original member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the music of composers whose lives were adversely affected by the Holocaust. Geller is a laureate of the 2007 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, where he performed recitals in Queenstown and chamber music in Auckland’s Town Hall. He also received top prizes at the Corpus Christi International Competition, Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition and the Music Academy of the West concerto competition. Following performances at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Geller was awarded the Jules C. Reiner violin prize. A previous student of Jennifer Cappelli, Geller received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the Juilliard School where he studied with Hyo Kang, Donald Weilerstein and Cho-Liang Lin. 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!!