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Judy Geist - Behind the Scenes

January 10, 2013

Judy Geist Viola

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? Long Island, NY.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Boccherini’s Cello Quintet recordings, Haydn piano trios, and works by J.S. Bach.

What is your most treasured possession? My 2012 Scion iQ.

What are your favorite Philadelphia restaurants? Girasole, Figs, and Fork.

What’s in your instrument case? My viola by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume; a french bow by La Pierre; a shoulder rest; rosin and a mute; Obligato strings; the score for Jennifer Higdon’s Viola and Piano Sonata; a charmeuse cleaning cloth; an old sound post; and a postcard.

What piece of music never fails to move you? Any work by Leonard Bernstein.

When did you join the Orchestra? In 1983 under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

Do you play any other instruments? Not anymore.

What’s your favorite type of food? I like vegetarian: pasta dishes and potato pierogi with peas, sauteed onions, and sour cream!

What book is on your nightstand? The Book of Runes.

Do you follow any blogs? FactCheck and the Brad Blog.

Do you have any hobbies? Visual art/painting, drawing, cartoons.

Do you have a favorite movie? Superhero and science fiction in general; Defending Your Life.

Do you speak any other languages? I wish I was more fluent in other languages.

Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Symphonic works and transcriptions of music by Fanny Mendelssohn (Das Jahr originally for piano, for instance), Clara Schumann, and more Haydn and Boccherini.

What’s the last recording you purchased—CD or download? Shostakovich string quartets.

What’s on your iPod? Mozart’s Oboe Quartet.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? In the early 1960s at Carnegie Hall—Eugene Ormandy conducted with violinist Isaac Stern.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Carnegie Hall, Perelman Theater, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

Photo by Karen Mauch

Read other "Musicians Behind the Scenes" Playbill features.