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 worked 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 Minnesota Orchestra's acting co-principal bass; in April 2015 she was named acting associate principal bass. She returned to her position in the section at the beginning of the 2021-22 season.
Nettleman began playing violin as a fourth-grader in the New Jersey public schools and switched to bass in eighth grade. Upon receiving direction from her outstanding high school band and orchestra teachers, she took lessons with jazz bassist Craig Thomas and then 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.
Nettleman enjoys teaching bass sectionals at the University of Minnesota, GTCYS and MYS, and for community orchestras. She serves on numerous Minnesota Orchestra committees, working together with musicians, staff, board members and community groups. She enjoys running, having back-in-the-day completed four Chicago Marathons; and has been a vegetarian for more than twenty years. Year-round, she walks to work from her home near the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Her husband Charles Block is principal bass of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Their daughter's wonderful imagination keeps them both busy.