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Introducing Molly Carr!

Photo by Dr. David Klein.

What’s your name?

My full name is Molly Jay Carr. I think I’m named after my mom’s childhood best friend; my middle name comes from my ancestor John Jay (first supreme court justice of USA!!); and Carr comes from the Scottish clan from which I’m descended.  My nick name is “smalls.”

Where are you from?

I was born a “tar-heal” in Gastonia, North Carolina, but then moved to Egypt for a year and half – where I apparently was used frequently as a lucky charm by my parents because I was an extremely blond baby – a novelty in such a dark-complexioned culture.  I then moved to Reno, Nevada, where I grew up until I moved away from home for college in New York City.

How did you come to the viola?

I started playing the violin when I was six years old. When I was 10, my teacher at the time wanted to start a chamber group, but had no violist students, so she pulled together a group of four violin students and had us pull straws… I got the short straw, was handed a viola, and never looked back. I never played the violin again…

Are you a Juilliard student?  Were you?  Or do you now work as part of the studio?

I received my Masters in Viola Performance from Juilliard in 2011 and my Bachelors in 2009.  I’m extremely blessed to be able to still be part of the ACHT studio through serving as Teaching Assistant to Heidi Castleman –  offering scale/technique classes and extra lessons.

If you could perform any viola piece, what would it be?

A piece I’ve wanted to play for years, but somehow have still not gotten around to yet is Vieuxtemps’ Capriccio for solo viola.  It’s so hauntingly beautiful…

If you could play any non-viola piece, what would it be?

I would love to be able to play the Elgar Cello Concerto (on Cello). Ripping out those awesome first chords and then sliding down to the low note of the first phrase on such a deep, resonant instrument, must feel SO INCREDIBLE!!  Either that or the first violin part of Schubert’s Rosamunde Quartet.

Who made your viola and how did you get to be the one playing it?

Stanley Kiernoziak from the shop of William Harris Lee in Chicago made my viola in 2002. He was loaned to me through the Virtu Foundation for 9 years until this past year when I finally purchased him!  His name is Moe and he’s only been played by me his entire life.

Do you have any secret skills?

For as long as I can remember, every time I fall asleep and dream – I can fly. So… my secret superpower in my subconscious is that I can fly. Somehow it’s always really hard work though… like swimming through air that seems thick as mud. I often wake up with a headache after these dreams because I’ve been working so hard.

You are forced by the United States Government to not practice for a day.  What do you do with yourself?

I would go backpacking on the Appalachian Trail – just me and my pup, Billie.

Do you have a website?

My website is www.molly-carr.com.


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