What is your name?
Ashley Kroecher

Where are you from?
North Vancouver, originally

Where do you live now?

What instruments do you play?
Viola, violin, and a bit of piano

How long have you played your instruments?
since I was 6

What made you pick those instruments?
I took after my older brother on the violin, and then got a bit tired of playing 2nd fiddle, so switched to viola around age 14. Also, the youth orchestras always needed more violists and I was recruited partly because of my height.

Where did you study?
Vancouver Academy of Music, UBC, SFU, and then the national music Hochschule in Trossingen Germany (where I spent 4 years).

Please list any awards, accomplishments, etc.
Performing one of the 2 viola solo parts of Bach's 6th Brandenburg Concerto with the Okanagan Symphony. Playing Mahler and John Adams with the Vancouver Symphony. Some of my chamber performances have also been career highlights (e.g. Shostakovich, Brahms).

If you could have dinner with any composer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Maybe Paul Hindemith. It's a bit of a violist thing. But he was a musical genius living in such a difficult time. There are many musical, political, and even personal issues that I'd enjoy asking him about. Maybe we could invite Debussy along, and Ernst Bloch as well.

What is your favourite genre of music, other than classical music?
My tastes are pretty eclectic. I enjoy unwinding to anything from Gregorian chant to Brazilian jazz.

What is your favourite band?
As a teenager I loved U2, but I don't really have a favourite anymore. Strange groups like the Polish Kroke band appeal to me. (No relation to my last name, which btw is pronounced Crow-sure:) Another pop artist who strikes a chord in me is the Czech singer/violinist Iva Bittova.

Other than the KSO, who do you perform with?
The Okanagan Symphony and the Sycamore string quartet.

What are some interesting places you have traveled to?
Venice, Aran islands (Ireland), Zakopane (Poland). My favourite trip to date was probably cycling for 3 weeks on the Danube river with my dad and my wife.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
Enjoying the great outdoors with my family (hiking, skiing, canoeing, cycling). Playing with my daughter. Reading.

What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
I'm a bit of a health food freak, but let’s go Pina Colada (non-dairy please).

What is your guilty pleasure?
The junky chips in the greenroom backstage.

Do you get nervous? And how do you calm your nerves before a performance?
I like to walk around the block and enjoy the colours of the evening sky over the Thompson River.

Please add anything that you'd like to share with our audience
I really enjoy the grassroots aspect of the KSO community. My billet is wonderful, as are the other host families. And I always enjoy Barb's used book sale. My big wish is for a better concert hall :)