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In Tune With... Sheronda Shorter

Sheronda Shorter teaching a viola lesson to a teenaged boy
Sheronda Shorter
Sheronda Shorter

In Tune With... is a monthly interview series that introduces you to Louisville's artists by exploring their connection to classical music and to our city.

Sheronda Shorter; Violist and Founder of West End Viola Studio

1. What is your concert day routine?

My concert day rule is to "treat myself well."  Meaning:

  • Have a good dinner the night before (dessert too!)
  • Allow enough time for me to get adequate rest.
  • Have a good breakfast the next morning
  • Hydrate
  • Breathe
  • Visualize the best performance possible
  • Steer clear of drama
  • Positive self-talk only
  • Smile and play with my dogs
  • Say a little prayer before I hit the stage

2. Where is your favorite spot in Louisville to hit up following a gig, concert, day of teaching, etc.?

Straight up Erhler's Ice Cream. Get my decadent Turtle Brownie Sundae with all the bells and whistles. Grab a window seat and cruise the New York Times headlines on my phone:)

3. What is your "desert island" piece?

Bloch's Rhapsodie from the Suite Hebraique which is actually three movements from his original work called Five Jewish Pieces for Viola and Piano, premiered in 1950. Bloch's marriage of the deep, foreboding contralto of my instrument with the Phrygian-soaked beauties and sorrows of modern Hebrew life is a gift to Violists everywhere. This piece I cannot do without.

4. Which musician/composer (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party, and why?

I would invite my cousin, Valerie Coleman (Louisville native and composer frequently featured on WUOL!) and Florence Price, just to have the honor of hosting them. Then, I would sit back and listen to the two discuss Black-female classical composition, their experiences in the field of Art Music, and their takes on each other's creations.

5. What/who are you listening to right now?

Going to see Maestro in the theatre when it comes out. Excited about this film in the same way I was excited about Tar last year. On the classical side, I am enjoying Leonard Bernstein's 1963 recording of Mahler 5 with the New York Philharmonic because in my humble opinion it is the version that is "correct." Aside from Art Music I listen to all things 70's, 80's, 90's especially when road tripping to sub in Indiana and Ohio.

6. What is your favorite hobby outside of classical music?

Before I played an instrument, I sketched, then I started to oil paint and do some light clay sculpture. I've been too busy to produce anything lately, but if given a stretch of free time, I will be doing visual arts with a bit of music composition on the side.

Have someone you would like to recommend for In Tune With...? Send Laura an email at latkinson@lpm.org

Laura is the evening host for LPM Classical. Email Laura at latkinson@lpm.org.