Musician Profile: Rob Kistler
The Akron Symphony Orchestra is comprised of talented musicians who have spent a lifetime honing their craft.
They are also your colleagues, neighbors and friends, and their passion for the community reflects their passion for their music.
Robert Kistler joined the Akron Symphony in 2015 and is currently the Principal Percussion. He recently sat down for a Q&A on life as a professional musician.
Q: How did you first become interested in music?
Rob: I actually started out playing guitar in 3rd grade. I remember watching a Paul McCartney special and thought guitar was awesome. However, in 4th grade, guitar was not an option to play in the school band. I still wanted to play music, and woodwind and brass instruments did not really resonate with me. That left drums as the only option left. Feeling rhythm and being able to read music kind of came naturally to me at that point, so I took it and ran with it. I later started playing drum set, then joined marching band and a fife and drum corps while I was in high school.
Q: What is the best part about being a member of the Akron Symphony?
Rob: Being able to perform with a friendly and talented group of musicians!
Q: If you were not a professional musician you would be …
Rob: If I had the body type for it, a hockey player. If I did not, probably something else involved with upper management for an NHL team.
Q: If you could only play one piece of music, what would it be and why?
Rob: West Side Story. It has everything in it: great melodies, catchy songs, tons of percussion and high energy.
Q: What is your favorite memory as a musician?
Rob: It’s a tossup between playing Mahler 2 with Schleswig-Holstein at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, or Scheherezade with the Cleveland Orchestra.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
Rob: Stay focused and always remember that music should be fun. It’s a privilege, not a right, to be able to play music. We are very lucky that we get the opportunity to do this for a living.
Q: Favorite movie?
Rob: I don’t really watch movies, but my favorite TV shows are Modern Family, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and House of Cards.
Q: Favorite food?
Rob: Girl Scout Tagalongs
Q: If you could only hear one musician or band play live (any genre), who would it be?
Rob: Bill Evans