50 Years of Alumni: Bjorn Ranheim

College(s)/University attended:
The Cleveland Institute of Music (BM 1999)

What years were you in GTCYS?
1985 (this start date is a but fuzzy but I know that I started in the Little Symphony with Connie Olson, likely around 3rd grade) – 1995

Why do you think GTCYS is important for students now?
GTCYS is incredibly important for students to develop the myriad musical skills that orchestral playing can teach as well as the social skills of working together to create something much bigger than themselves with like-minded young people.

How does music still play a part in your life?
Music IS my life! I am so fortunate to make my career as a professional cellist; performing as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral cellist in the St. Louis region and around the country.

What is your favorite composer or piece of music?
Wow, this is a really hard question! I’m torn between the music for solo cello by J.S. Bach and the chamber music and symphonic music of Johannes Brahms. Bach’s music is pure perfection, Brahms’ music is so fun to dig into, bringing life to his rich and expressive musical phrases.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I live in the heart of St. Louis with my wife, Dorie, our two young daughters, Inga (7) and Freya (5) and our Hungarian Vizsla, Ginger.

What do you hope to see from GTCYS in the next 50 years?
I hope that GTCYS will continue to be a top-tier youth orchestra organization that represents the diversity of the Twin Cities region, providing unparalleled opportunities for the musical and personal growth of young musicians from all backgrounds.

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