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Hai-Ye Ni - Behind the Scenes

January 01, 2014

Hai-Ye Ni Principal Cello

Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.

Where were you born? I was born in Shanghai, China.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? The Swan by Saint-Saëns.

What’s your most treasured possession? My cello.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Prime Rib. They have live jazz in the evenings. 

Tell us about your instrument. It’s made by Giovanni Grancino, Milan, Italy, c. 1693.

What’s in your instrument case?  A pocket of strings and perhaps a pencil if it’s not lost.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? Is this how you'd like the interpretation to be?

What piece of music never fails to move you? There are many, but I would say I was really moved by Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration the first time I heard it.

When did you join the Orchestra? In September 2006.

Do you play any other instruments? I play the piano.

What’s your favorite type of food? French, Italian. My favorite is still Chinese.

What books are on your nightstand? One of the books is The lives of Great Composers. Also The Yan Can Cook Book. 

Do you speak any other languages? A little French and German. 

Do you follow any blogs? No.

Do you have any hobbies? I like ping pong, taking walks to Rittenhouse Square, going to Barnes and Noble. 

Do you have a favorite movie? Forrest Gump. 

What’s the last recording you purchased? A CD of Haydn String Quartets.

What’s on your iPod? I don't have one.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? On recordings when I was growing up, and live on TV.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? The Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and when we go to China to perform.

Photo by Ryan Donnell

Read other "Musicians Behind the Scenes" Playbill features.