This weekend The Florida Orchestra’s “Quilting Violinist,” Linda Simon Hall, will be a celebrity judge at a quilt show put on by the Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Brandon. It’s aptly themed “A Symphony of Colors.” Here’s a look at TFO’s own master of strings and thread:
Joined TFO: October 1987
Originally from: White Plains, NY
Education: Received her bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory and her master’s degree from Northwestern University.
If you could redesign the food pyramid without any dire health consequences, how would it look?
Since we’re suspending reality here, it has a coffee base and is covered in chocolate icing. The rest of it doesn’t really matter.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would it be called?
“You’re Going to Love It.” I say this so often at work that some of my colleagues have threatened to have this engraved on my tombstone.
When and how did you start quilting?
I took a beginner quilting class at a local quilt shop completely on a whim in 1994. I enjoyed it and stuck with it. Fast forward to 2010: I was still quilting, and TFO was reeling from the economic downturn. A dramatically shortened season meant that all of the musicians had to figure out how to fill in the gaps in our schedule. I viewed it as a heartbreaking event that also presented an opportunity: less work as a violinist meant I was going to have more time for quilting, so I took the plunge and opened my online store!
What has been your favorite piece of quilt you have ever made?
I love all of my quilts so I don’t have a favorite, but this one has a nice story attached to it: It was a custom order made out of dog kerchiefs that the customer had accumulated from 25 years of going to the groomer!
What would you like the future of TFO to look like?
Since I joined TFO 30 years ago the communities that we serve have grown tremendously, and if we want to be viewed as relevant and important, we have to grow as well.
Can you remember the first classical concert you listened to?
Here’s a picture of what was probably my first classical concert, in which coincidentally I was also performing. I was 3 and the repertoire was (more than likely) “Twinkle.” You’ll be relieved to learn that I’ve since learned how to play without my slip showing.