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The New York Philharmonic

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Kim Laskowski

Kim Laskowski joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2003 as Associate Principal Bassoon. Born in Brooklyn, she attended the High School of Music and Art and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Harold Goltzer, former Associate Principal Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic. While at Juilliard she won the Walter and Elsie Naumburg Award for Orchestral Excellence. She completed a master’s degree at Juilliard while playing in the National Orchestral Association, and has also participated in the Tanglewood and Spoleto festivals. Recipient of a Fulbright grant for foreign study, she attended the Conservatoire National Superieure de Paris, where she was a student of Maurice Allard. While at the Conservatoire, she toured Europe as a member of the Orchestre des Prix.

As an active player on the New York musical scene, Laskowski has appeared with ensembles such as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and Eos Orchestra. She can be heard on numerous television, radio, and film scores, and holds two platinum records for CDs recorded with the rock group 10,000 Maniacs. As a chamber player, she has performed and recorded several CDs with Music Amici in classical, jazz, and 20th-century works for mixed ensembles.

Before joining the Philharmonic, Laskowski played second bassoon in the New York City Ballet Orchestra. She was principal bassoon of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra from 1999 through 2003.

Kim Laskowski resides in Manhattan with her husband, Zaharis Kalaitzis, and her two children, Lana and Theo.

“I really enjoy collaboration with rock, pop, and jazz musicians. I am always inspired by the way these artists use their individual style to make the music happen!”

Q&A with Kim Laskowski

THE FACTS: Born in Brooklyn, New York. Attended the High School of Music and Art; The Juilliard School, studying with Harold Goltzer, former Philharmonic Associate Principal Bassoon; Fulbright to Conservatoire national Supérieure de Musique de Paris. Prior to the Philharmonic: second bassoon, New York City Ballet Orchestra; principal bassoon, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Teaches at The Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music. At the Philharmonic: Joined September 2003. Solo debut in December 2003 in Haydn’s Sinfonia concertante in B-flat major.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: Listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. My mom allowed us to listen only to classical music. She began to let us listen to rock ’n’ roll when The Beatles arrived on the scene.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCE? Maurice Allard, my teacher at the Paris Conservatory

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN? I was 12 when I started to play the bassoon. I loved the sound and how it blended with the other instruments in ensembles. It immediately became the focal point of my life (after I learned how to put it together!).

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUSICIAN? I’m not sure that being completely consumed by something to the extent that it governs your life is a good thing, but I like it!

DO YOU PRACTICE A LOT? Yes. A lot of music is performed each season at the New York Philharmonic and you have to be overly prepared. I must also make my own reeds. It is a very long process involving cane, several machines, and special tools.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH THE ORCHESTRA: Performing in Pyongyang, North Korea in 2008. I felt it was another way to use music to open communication between people.

MOST INSPIRING COMPOSER: Tchaikovsky. He had great passion combined with imagination and versatility.

DO YOU EVER PLAY OTHER KINDS OF MUSIC? Film scores, rock ’n’ roll, and Greek music with my husband, who plays the doumbek. I really enjoy collaboration with rock, pop, and jazz musicians. I am always inspired by the way these artists use their individual style to make the music happen!

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Christiane Jaccottet playing J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations

TELL US ABOUT YOUR COOKING ADVENTURES, PAST AND PRESENT: I have been a foodie since I was born. Cooking became a fascinating preoccupation of mine at age 11, when my mother asked me to assume the role of dinner chef for our family when she went back to work. From 1980 to 1982 I catered parties for Jackie Onassis and others. Even now, my husband and I plan, shop, and cook each day for our meals together.

As of December 2018
Upcoming 2022-2023 Performances

Location: (Directions)
Price Range:
NY Phil @ Noon
Program To Include
  • Dvořák, Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola
  • Glière, Selections from Eight Duets for Violin and Cello
  • Mozart, Quintet for Piano and Winds
  • Quan Ge, Violin
  • Kuan Cheng Lu, Violin
  • Kerry McDermott, Violin
  • Cong Wu, Viola
  • Nathan Vickery, Cello
  • Satoshi Okamoto, Bass
  • Sherry Sylar, Oboe
  • Pascual Martínez Forteza, Clarinet
  • ...,

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