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Lydia Grimes


Violist Lydia Grimes joined the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2022. A native Minnesotan, Grimes grew up as a violinist and began studying the viola at 16 under the instruction of Sabina Thatcher. She received her bachelor’s degree and is completing her master’s in viola performance from the Juilliard School, where she studies with Hsin-Yun Huang, Misha Amory and Cynthia Phelps. 


Grimes has enjoyed multiple seasons performing at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, and has studied chamber music with former and current members of the Juilliard String Quartet. She has been featured in masterclasses led by Heidi Castleman, Samuel Rhodes, Roger Tapping and Joel Krosnick, and has performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic, APEX Ensemble and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Grimes also served as principal viola of the Juilliard Orchestra for five years, leading sections under Marin Alsop, David Robertson and Kevin Edusei.

In her free time, Grimes serves on the executive board of the performance organization Opus Illuminate, and enjoys singing and playing soccer.