Hudson Valley Musicians

From classic rockers to child prodigies, the Valley is home to a seemingly end­less number of gifted musicians representing every genre and age group. This all-access pass introduces some of the area’s leading established artists, each paired with a promising local up-and-comer. Take a glimpse at some of the hottest talent north of NYC

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Susan Seligman

Instrument: Cello Currently lives in: New Paltz Hometown: Joliet, Illinois Has been playing cello for: 45 years
When Seligman first visited the Valley, she fell in love with the area. In the decades since, she has become principal cellist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, taught at Vassar, and is now a SUNY New Paltz professor.

Why the cello? It was my mother’s idea. I was tall for my age in fourth grade and when I was choosing an instrument, the orchestra director suggested cello. I was instantly attracted to it. I believe there is a right instrument for every person, and I was lucky to discover early that the cello was mine. Any other instruments? I play a little piano, but not enough that I would perform publicly. How many cellos do you own? Actually only one. I probably should have another one to play outdoors, but I don’t. I’ve had this cello for almost 20 years. Favorite thing about performing? I find it to be very enlivening. I like the feeling of interaction, both with who I’m playing with and with the audience. Professional highlight? There is a concerto by Brahms that has a huge cello solo. I got to play it with [pianist] Emanuel Ax; that was really fabulous. Best thing about living in the Valley? It’s so beautiful. I love to go up to Mohonk and hike; I have a route that goes by the duck pond. In your free time? I love to garden. During the summer I plan to spend a couple of hours a day in the yard. Current gig? I’ve been playing with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic since 1981, but I’ve been a principal cellist since 1984. I occasionally play with the Innisfree Piano Trio; we perform concerts throughout the region. And I’m a member of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Quartet. What’s next? I would like to explore other musical options beyond classical or chamber; for example, I played with a flamenco musician this spring and it was a lot of fun. Crossovers [between genres] are fun. Classical musicians love to feel cool.

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