Acting Associate Principal Bass
Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Stepanek Chair
Kathryn Nettleman, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra in fall 2009, has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Southeast Asia. She served for one season as principal bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Edo de Waart, a former music director of the Orchestra. From summer 2012 to February 2015 she served as the Orchestra's acting co-principal bass; in April 2015 she was named acting associate principal bass.
Nettleman has also worked as a freelance musician, performing as a substitute player with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Chicago Lyric Opera. As a chamber musician and solo recitalist she has performed in Hong Kong, across China and at Midwestern venues. She makes frequent appearances in local chamber music series including the Colonial Chamber Series in Edina, as well as in the Orchestra’s own chamber programs. In 2011 she performed as soloist with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, playing the Dittersdorf Bass Concerto.
Nettleman began studying violin as a fourth-grader in the New Jersey public schools, switched to bass in eighth grade and worked with Neil Courtney of the Philadelphia Orchestra during her high school years. She subsequently studied with additional eminent teachers—Homer Mensch during her undergraduate years at the Juilliard School and Donald Palma while a graduate student at Yale. She continued her musical training as a fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, performing under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. In April 2011 she again worked with the New World Symphony and Thomas, coaching and performing Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.
Nettleman coaches bass sectionals at the University of Minnesota as well as in local youth orchestras, and she maintains a private teaching studio. She volunteers weekly for Minneapolis Public Schools as a tutor in reading and language skills. She also enjoys yoga and running, having completed four marathons, and has been a vegetarian for more than a decade. Her husband Charles Block is principal bass of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.