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. Prior to her move to Minnesota, she served as principal bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Edo de Waart, former music director of the Minnesota 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 worked for years as a freelance musician, performing as a regular 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 Musical Offering, 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 playing violin as a fourth-grader in the New Jersey public schools, switched to bass in eighth grade, and upon receiving direction from her outstanding high school band and orchestra teachers, took lessons with Neil Courtney of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She subsequently studied with additional eminent teachers—Homer Mensch at The Juilliard School and Donald Palma while a graduate student at Yale University. She received full tuition scholarships at both schools. 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 in a week-long intensive, coaching the bass section and performing Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.
Nettleman enjoys teaching bass sectionals at the University of Minnesota, GTCYS and MYS. Nettleman currently serves on numerous Minnesota Orchestra committees, working together with musicians, staff, board members and community groups. She enjoys yoga and running, having completed four Chicago Marathons and has been a vegetarian for more than fifteen years. She often walks or bikes to work from her home near the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Her husband Charles Block is principal bass of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.