Meet Heather Gage

Education & Community Engagement Director
Reno Phil Violinist

What year did you join the orchestra?
I joined the Youth Orchestra 1999, and the Reno Phil in 2005

How long have you been playing music?
I started playing violin when I was 6

How did you pick your instrument?
The music teacher in my hometown, Quincy, sent flyers around for after-school group violin classes, and I wanted to join!

Education Director with the Reno Phil

When you’re not playing with the Reno Phil, what would we most likely see you doing in your free time?
I love being out in the garden. Both of my parents were horticulturists (hence being named after a flower!) and I feel continually inspired by the resilience and growth found in nature.

What genre of music are you most excited to play?
When I’m with the Phil, I love playing what only a symphony orchestra can play, whether that’s Beethoven or a John Williams score.

What is your favorite piece of all time to play, and why?
Right now I feel most drawn to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, I think because of what it has come to symbolize. Every time I play it there is a new layer of subjective experience because of what else is happening at that time. Reno Phil Season 52 will be no exception! The range of emotion in that work is truly awesome.

If you could meet one composer/musician, who would it be and why?
Florence Price, who is enjoying a resurgence right now. I would love to hear from her directly about what inspired her works, on both a macro and micro level, and learn some things that history may have missed.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
My ideal spot has potential for peaceful reflection, memorable local food, and invigorating exploration and activity.

What do you think the audience would find surprising about you?
I took up MMA (mixed martial arts) as an adult amateur a couple years ago. It’s been a great addition with lots of challenges, new friends, and the uniquely humbling experience of being a total beginner at something.

What about performing live music brings you joy?
I love the complete immersion in the present that comes with performance of live music.


Reno Phil violinist and Education & Community Engagement Director, Heather Gage, performs a lively piece for a very special audience member – her daughter Emmy.