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Biography

Viola

Joanne E. Harrington & Lorry I. Lokey Second Century Chair

John Schoening
Joanne E. Harrington & Lorry I. Lokey Second Century Chair
Member since 1974
Hometown: Racine, WI

On being in the Orchestra:
Being inside the sound of the Orchestra is a great thing. I’m able to make sounds with the group that I can’t make myself, because I’m just one part of what’s going on. That is the appeal: The music is really great, and the sound of the Orchestra is spectacular.

Interests:
I’m a photographer—that’s a passion for me. In 1975 the Orchestra went to Japan and I bought a camera there and started taking slides. Then I saw an Ansel Adams book and immediately I bought an old large-format press camera. Ever since then I’ve been totally hooked on taking pictures and working in the dark room. I like landscapes with a sign of man in them: a building, a telephone pole—anything that creates nice light and shapes.

Musical family:
My mother is an excellent pianist and organist. My wife is a schoolteacher and she plays the flute, and my older son Matthew plays solo electric cello under the name Mr. Cello Man. He plays on albums and often performs shows in the Bay Area. My younger son Tristan is a drummer (on anything in the house) and a beatboxer, and is interested in designing lighting for stage sets.

Advice to aspiring musicians:
Play chamber music with the attitude that you want to blend in with other people. The job of an orchestral musician is to be a strong player, and also to blend and phrase with everybody. It may be difficult to relinquish control, but that is really where the enjoyment comes from.