Kathleen Murphy Kemp is Assistant Principal Cello of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has been a full-time member of the cello section since 1977. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, she earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Performance and Literature, as well as the Performer’s Certificate. Ms. Kemp serves on the Collegiate and Community Education faculties of the Eastman School, as well as serving as coordinator of Eastman’s Orchestral Studies Diploma Program. She is also co-chair of the string faculty of Rochester’s Hochstein School of Music.
Her teachers include Ron Leonard, Alan Harris, Jeff Holm, Gabor Rejto, and Robert Newkirk. She participated in master classes with Gregor Piatigorsky and Janos Starker. In addition to giving numerous solo and chamber music recitals, Kathleen was a member of Cello Divas, and has performed with the Society for Chamber Music, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Skaneateles Music Festival, Fortissimo Music Festival, Roycroft Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and Sarasota Festival. She was a finalist in the Hudson Valley Solo competition and won the concerto competition at Music Academy of the West.
As a strong advocate for music education, Kathleen served more than 10 years on the Rochester Philharmonic Youth orchestra Board, and during her tenure developed the mentor program (RPO musicians coaching RPYO students). She is co-founder of Chamber Music at the Hochstein School, a program for beginning through advanced young musicians with an interest in learning the art of great chamber music playing.
Kathleen devotes much of her time to educational volunteerism, and has been honored with the RPO Volunteer Recognition Award and the Philharmonic Leagues Fanfare Award for Education. She has served on the Board of the Rochester Philharmonic orchestra and was a parent advocate on the Greece (NY) School Board on behalf of school counselors and librarians.