SSO - Krista Hettinger

SHEBOYGAN — The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra is overflowing with talented members of our community. 

Learn more about some of the area's musicians including their favorite artists and more about them when they step off the stage.

Get to know: Krista Hettinger

Position: Principal Second Violin

How long have you been playing with the SSO?

I joined the SSO in 2017, after a decade-long hiatus from the violin. Playing with this orchestra has filled a void I didn't even realize was there, and I really look forward to getting back to business when the public health outlook improves. I'm grateful to the SSO for the opportunity to make music with wonderful colleagues, many of whom have become friends along the way. It has been a privilege to learn and be challenged at something I let atrophy for such a long time. Life is far more beautiful with music in it.

What has been one of your most memorable experiences playing with the SSO?

Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, the capstone of the SSO's 100th season, really stands out in my mind. To bring that 80-minute symphony to life was a huge undertaking for the Symphony and Chorus. I had never had the opportunity to play Mahler before, and it was a real pleasure to dig into such a daunting and monumental work. It was so worth the effort. On a side note, enthusiastic kudos to Sheboygan for being committed to keeping classical music alive in the community for more than a century!

What is your favorite symphonic work?

I discovered Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" on a $2 CD I bought on a whim from Best Buy in 8th grade after I got my first CD player. I just liked the composer's name, but the piece blew me away, and it has been my favorite ever since. Last winter I had the opportunity to hear the MSO perform it live at the Basilica in Milwaukee, and it was incredibly moving, particularly in that soaring space. While the piece is strings-only, the acoustics of the Basilica made it sound like there were voices singing and a pipe organ playing. I was transported.

What would you most like to play in a future concert?

Anything, together with others. I really miss the energy of ensemble music and a live audience.

Who are your favorite musical artists, classical or popular, and what have you been listening to this month?

I've become a bit of a superfan of violinist Augustin Hadelich. I really admire his sparkling technique and beautiful, somewhat understated musicianship. He has passed the pandemic months by issuing short videos discussing the finer points of violin playing and musical interpretation. He's also done several really wonderful self-accompanied home recordings that are fun to watch.

I've also been listening to a lot of jazz lately. I keep going back to Chick Corea, Danilo Perez, and the jazz violinist Zach Brock.

Is there an instrument you've always wanted to learn but never had the chance to?

I've always been fascinated and intimidated in equal parts by all those keys on woodwind instruments. And the reed! How on earth do they manage it all?

What is your occupation outside of the SSO?

I am staying home with my kids this year as they navigate the new landscape of virtual school, which is a full-time job for all of us, and I think the kids are doing a better job than I am. I also maintain a small, private violin studio.

Are there any hidden talents, favorite hobbies or fun facts we may not know about you?

I enjoy cooking and have a real penchant for a well-conceived cookbook. Being home so much has turned me into an avid backyard birdwatcher, and I started to learn bird calls over the summer after I kept hearing one very distinctive twilight call, which turned out to belong to the eastern wood pewee. I think this may be the same bird that delighted us by landing on my daughter's head for an instant when we were out in the yard.

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