Member of the Week – Kristina Nilsson

Every Wednesday, we will be featuring one Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra member to answer some fun questions about themselves. Today we will be hearing from Kristina Nilsson, our concertmaster.

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Photo by John Barstow

What are some of your favorite non-musical hobbies?

My first love is reading, and I like to memorize poetry while out on my daily 3-mile walk (more like a stroll).  I spend most of my spare time taking care of my husband, who is severely disabled with M.S.  I suppose you could call that a hobby because, although it’s physically taxing, it’s rewarding because he’s such good company and very appreciative of all my help.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to be?

Many years ago I had to make a difficult career choice between law and music.  I paid for law school with income from my music jobs, then passed the Massachusetts Bar and worked in law for a short time.  If financially necessary I’d go back to that field, but loving music and musicians as I do, I’m thrilled that I’m able to give my time and attention and energy to the art in which I’ve chosen to immerse myself.

Throughout your history with Pro Arte, what has been your favorite concert?

Pro Arte has given so many spectacular concerts that I’d be hard-pressed to choose one of them as my favorite.  Certainly one of the most memorable years was the one where we commissioned various composers to write “birthday cards” in honor of an anniversary (I cannot remember which one!) that Pro Arte was celebrating.  Each piece was quite brief, but some of them were quite interesting, and I think it was a challenging project for numerous local composers to undertake, which they all did gratis.  And the benefit concert we gave with Yo-Yo Ma playing Shostakovich Cello Concerto was quite splendid.  And some of the choral collaborations we’ve had have been great, not least Larry Hill’s (our founding music director’s) interpretations of Bach B-minor Mass and Brahms Requiem.  I remember that in our fifth year we featured all five of Beethoven’s symponies (one on each program), performed by Randall Hodgkinson, Chris O’Reilly, Robert Sherman, Leonard Shure, and Victor Rosenbaum.

Do you have questions for the musicians?  E-mail your questions to info@proarte.org.