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Jane Mitchell

Jane Mitchell, Associate Principal Viola
Evangeline R. Haarlow Chair

Jane Mitchell received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory and her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. She studied with Peter Slowik and Ettore Causa.

In May 2017, Mitchell completed a three-year fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Prior to moving to Florida, she was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra for two years. 

In the summer, she performs with the Britt Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. She has participated in numerous other summer festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Center; the Lucerne Festival Academy; the Britten Pears Young Artist Program; Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival; the Pacific Music Festival; and the Sarasota Music Festival.


The facts:

I grew up in central Wisconsin, and I studied at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Yale School of Music. I spent three years playing with New World Symphony in Miami Beach, and then I joined the Naples Philharmonic in 2017.

What has been your most memorable moment with the orchestra?

My first Masterworks concert. It was in October 2017, and the program was Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. This was my first season here, and my first chance to play big symphonic repertoire with the orchestra. Hurricane Irma forced us to cancel several weeks of concerts in September and, in October, we were all grateful and excited to be back on stage. Plus, we offered free tickets to the community for this program, so the hall was completely full.

What inspired you to become a musician?

When some 5-year-old violinists performed for my preschool class, I was amazed and told my parents that I wanted to do that, too!

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

I’m going to name two: I love when we have soloists performing with us; I can hear very clearly from my spot on-stage, so it’s like having a front row seat. And I love playing chamber music with my colleagues.

What’s challenging about playing your instrument?

As you probably know, violists hardly ever get to play the melody. That means that we need to know the score really well in order to accompany whoever does have the melody. We need to be listening and reacting constantly.

What are your favorite compositions?

The list is always changing… Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht, Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, Beethoven’s String Quartet op. 131.

What have you been listening to recently?

I’ve been listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and Queen.

Are there other musicians in your immediate family?

My dad (guitar and vocals) and my brother (too many instruments to list!) are both musicians.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy running, reading, and traveling. I also volunteer at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.


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