Monty Carter, principal

monty-putting-rosin-on-batonMonty Carter, principal

Instrument: Viola
Member of the Saint Joseph Symphony since: 1995
Bio: Violinist, violist and conductor Monty Carter has served as a private instructor and ensemble clinician in Kansas City for two decades. “Amélie,” his beloved modern viola, and “Solo,” his modern violin, were made by KC Strings master luthier, Anton Krutz. He performs on his Baroque violin, “Jake,” by Jacob Weiss, circa 1740, in the Kansas City Baroque Consortium, founded by his wife, cellist Trilla Ray-Carter. Trilla and Monty live in Kansas City with their musically tolerant cat, Ruthie.

What famous musician/composer would you most like to meet?
Ludwig van Beethoven. It would be around 1806, in the middle of the night. I’d whisper in his ear: “VIOLA concerto … VIOLA concerto … VIOLA concerto …” (Too bad he wouldn’t hear me.)

List 3 adjectives that best describe you.
(1) Facetious; (2) Dreamer (oops, sorry, that’s a noun) and (3) EXCITED! (or maybe I’m being facetious…)

Why the viola?
You wouldn’t understand. People choose to play the other instruments …
Violists are CHOSEN.

If you could play another instrument what would it be?
The BANJO, baby! PICK it!

What are your fondest musical memories?
1985: playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” (high school glory days); 1989: subbing in the Kansas City Symphony as an undergrad (I was scared to death but had a blast); 1995: sharing a stage with Plant and Page! (in the orchestra); 2009: premier of my “Sakura” for Japanese koto and orchestra, my first symphonic piece; 2009 to the present: euphoric time-travel in the Kansas City Baroque Consortium; and countless wonderful moments in the Saint Joseph Symphony, an ensemble that feels like family, over the past two decades.

What advice would you give to beginning instrumental students?
The essence of technique (on any instrument) is facility, ease of action. Breathe. Relax. Release. Repeat.