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Yumi Kendall - Behind the Scenes

November 01, 2012

Yumi Kendall Acting Associate 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.

Yumi Kendall photo

Where were you born? St. Louis, MO

When did you join the Orchestra? September 2004.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Any of the cello suites by J.S. Bach.

What is your most treasured possession? My cello, naturally. It’s a 1996 American. When I first played it, at age 15, it was fresh out of the violin shop smelling of new varnish. Since I was its first—and so far only—player, we’ve kind of grown up together. Plus, it won me my job in this amazing orchestra, so I have much to be grateful for.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Amada.

What’s in your instrument case? Other than my cello and two bows, extra strings, and pencils. Not much room for anything else. Perhaps a few power bars, if I’m ravenous.

If you could ask one composer one question who would it be and what would you ask them? This makes me smile. It reminds me of one of my summers at [the] Marlboro [Festival], where a visiting “specialist” was rumored to host séances. Our consensus (mine included) was to request that she channel Beethoven, but as far as I know, it never happened. Personally, I'm OK with having some mystery.

What’s the last recording you purchased—CD or download? What’s a CD?

What piece of music never fails to move you? Speaking of Beethoven, the “Heilige Dankgesang” [third movement] from his String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132.

Do you play any other instruments? Not unless you count sawing away on my brother’s violin in quartet rehearsal breaks.

What’s your favorite type of food? Anything Asian.

What book are you currently reading? Right now I’m catching up on my New Yorkers that have accumulated from recent travel, and Oliver Sacks’s An Anthropologist on Mars. I just finished Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

Do you speak any other languages? A smidgen of German and Japanese.

Do you have any hobbies? Reading, writing calligraphy, and kick-boxing.

Do you have a favorite movie? To Kill a Mockingbird: One of only a few movies that are as good as the book.

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Read other "Musicians Behind the Scenes" Playbill features.