Principal, Caroline H. Hume Chair
SFS member since: 2004
Hometown: York, PA
Music schools you attended: Oberlin
Began playing music: At age 6
Musical inspirations: Being exposed to really fine players and quality concerts at an early age. I gravitated to it.
If I were not a professional musician, I might be a: Chef
Favorite composers: Mozart, Brahms, Bartók, Stravinsky, Ravel, Beethoven
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Ravel, Daphnis et Chloé; Debussy, Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun; Stravinsky, Le Rossignol; All four Brahms symphonies, but mostly because of the total wind choir.
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Cooking, hiking, running, playing golf, hanging with my family
Recent reading: The Leopard, by Jo Nesbo, who sort of takes over from Stieg Larsson.
On my CD player/iPod: A lot of Miles Davis and Pat Metheny; Maurizio Pollini playing late Schubert sonatas and a killer Petrushka
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Hiking all the ridge trails; wine tasting in Napa, Sonoma, and even Marin; walking San Francisco neighborhoods and hitting the Swan Oyster Depot as often as possible.
Plus: Most of the things I enjoy doing, I especially enjoy with the participation of my wife, [SFS Associate Principal Flute] Robin McKee, and children Britt, a pianist, and Ruby, an actress.
Associate Principal, Catherine & Russell Clark Chair
SFS member since: 1984
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Music schools you attended: Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Began playing music: At age 8
Musical inspirations: My parents
Favorite composers: Brahms, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Miles Davis
Favorite works featuring my instrument: any Brahms symphony
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Harassing my children, Britton, 21 and Ruby, 19; Eating the fabulous meals that Tim Day [husband and SFS Principal Flute] cooks for us
Recent reading: Dragon Bones, by Lisa See; the internets
On my CD player/iPod is: Complete piano works of Satie; Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim; Pancho Sanchez; Turangalîla, Messiaen
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Sit in my yard, grazing my guinea pigs while reading; taking long walks around Mill Valley with [SFS flutist] Linda Lukas
When I retire: Tim and I want to drive around and visit a winery in every state of the U.S.
SFS member since: 1990
Hometown: Delaware, OH
Music schools you attended: Ohio University, University of Iowa, École municipale de musique de Paris, Northwestern University
Began playing music: At age 10
Musical inspirations: My dad, who was a professional musician and the “Mr. Holland” of my hometown.
If I were not a professional musician, I might be a: professional baton twirler
Favorite composers: Brahms, Debussy
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Ravel, Daphnis and Chloë; Debussy, Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun; Brahms, Symphony No. 4
Recent reading: Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay; The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, by Thaddeus Carhart; The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Hiking on Mt. Tamalpais, wine tasting
Plus: I’ve taught at SFSU since 1991; I played and recorded with the Arioso Wind Quintet for 10 years; I have played Principal Flute in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for 16 years.
Linda Lukas has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
Catherine Payne, who joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1996, performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as acting second flutist for two seasons, including the 1994-95 Tanglewood seasons. As a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, she appeared on many Evening at Pops telecasts, including the annual live July 4th broadcasts. Ms. Payne was formerly principal flutist of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and associate principal flute and piccolo player with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the Portland Symphony, and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, where she was a featured soloist in concertos of Mozart and J.S. Bach. Ms. Payne was also invited to perform for several weeks with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim, playing concerts in Chicago and Europe.
A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Ms. Payne studied with Thomas Nyfenger of the Yale School of Music while she was in high school. She continued her studies in Boston at the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Lois Schaefer and Leone Buyse of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While pursuing her music education, Ms. Payne attended Tufts University, where she majored in English, graduating magna cum laude.
Catherine Payne has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program. She is currently a member of the Coaching Team for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.