November 11, 2019
A Q&A with Sabina Thatcher
Minnesota Orchestra musician since: September 2019
Section: Associate Principal Viola
Hometown: Sioux Falls, S.D.
Education: University of Minnesota, Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School
Do you come from a musical family? Yes, my parents are amateur musicians and adore music. My father accompanied me on piano until I left for college and my mother taught me to sing. All six of us children played an instrument—it was part of our education. We even had a family string quartet for a time.
What is your favorite Twin Cities hang-out spot or activity? I love taking walks, often at Baker Park Reserve or down Summit Avenue in St. Paul.
What is special to you about making music in Minnesota? Making music in Minnesota is a privilege. There are so many fantastic players in town between the two major orchestras, colleges and freelancers. There are concerts going on all over the metro area. Minnesota audiences are loyal, appreciative and discerning. They value culture and what it does for the soul and society.
If you weren’t a professional musician, what career do you think you’d have? I like to think I would have gone into medicine. Like music, it can be endlessly interesting and fulfilling.
Tell us about a proud moment during your career? I think winning an audition at age 55 might be my proudest moment!
Which solo or moment in the viola’s repertoire do you love? My favorite solo work is Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola.
What do you think will be most challenging about your new role with the Minnesota Orchestra? The biggest challenge of my new position in Minnesota Orchestra will be getting used to the differences in sound and rhythmic placement after more than 20 years in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and I will have a lot of notes to learn!
What are your hobbies outside of the concert hall? My family is my biggest hobby! My husband and I have five children—two boys and three girls—who are all amazing. We are so fortunate!