Derek Mosloff, Principal
Joined TFO: January 2017
Originally from: Northwest corner of Minnesota
Previous experience: Most recently a viola fellow at New World Symphony in Miami Beach, he was principal viola with the New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of Indian Hill in Massachusetts. He has performed with the Discovery Ensemble in Boston, Atlantic Symphony in Massachusetts and Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. He has been a music fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts and festival violist for the Chelsea Music Festival in New York City.
Education: He received his master’s in viola performance from the New England Conservatory and bachelor’s in viola performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Why did you choose to play viola?
I started playing the viola at age 11 in the public school orchestra in my hometown. I actually didn’t have any interest in music up to that point, and ended up joining on a whim. Some friends had joined the orchestra, and they were all really excited about a trip to Minneapolis. Since I didn’t want to be left out, I decided to join in 5th grade. I didn’t know anything about string instruments, and I actually showed up and asked what instrument they would like me to play! They said viola would be a good choice, since the group needed more viola players.
What’s a musical experience that has changed your life?
I became excited about classical music when I finally had my first dedicated private teacher. I began studying with Jonah Sirota of the Chiara String Quartet only two years after I had started in the school system. The Chiara Quartet had come to Grand Forks, North Dakota, (near my hometown) to do a rural residency. Studying with him and seeing what was possible with the viola was incredibly inspiring. I remember one instance, when he played a little of the Bach Chaconne on the viola. I was awestruck at how one string instrument could produce multiple voices at the same time, each part singing its own individual line. Hearing that has stuck with me to this day.
What do you enjoy in your free time?
I enjoy reading, playing keyboard Bach, and taking long walks with my wife and our American Eskimo Dog, Sochi.
What excites you about The Florida Orchestra?
I am so excited to work with such wonderful colleagues, who play at such a high level and have been so friendly and welcoming to me. I’m also very excited to work with Music Director Michael Francis. I enjoyed working with him at the New World Symphony and learned a lot. I’m excited about how much TFO does to reach out to the broader Tampa Bay community and the state of Florida. And I’m excited to get up each day and play some of the best music ever written as my career. I couldn’t ask for more than that.