Leslie Nash Kilstofte

Principal, Guild of the Greenville Symphony Endowed Chair

Albuquerque, New Mexico native, Leslie Nash Kilstofte, has been the Principal Cellist for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra since 1999.  She received her musical training at Boston University’s School for the Arts, studying with famed pedagogue George Neikrug.

As a member of the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, Ms. Kilstofte traveled and performed in South America, Japan, France, Scotland, England, and across the United States.  She gained extensive freelancing experience while serving as teaching assistant to cellist Michael Haber at the University of Akron, playing regularly with the Columbus Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Canton Symphony, and the Akron Symphony.

Ms. Kilstofte has been a participant in numerous summer music festivals, including the Colorado Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, the Festival at Sandpoint, Tanglewood and Interlochen, and has extensive chamber music experience as well, playing festivals in Germany, Italy, and the U.S. with such luminaries as Lukas Foss, Gunther Schuller, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Jeffrey Kahane and Robert Macduffie.

Married to composer Mark Kilstofte, she has a genuine passion for contemporary music, and in 2002 accompanied her Rome Prize-winning husband to the American Academy in Rome, where she was artist-in-residence during their year’s stay.  In addition to her GSO duties, she has been a regular player with the Charleston and Augusta Symphonies, and more recent accomplishments include a 2007 Banff Music Centre residency and a solo performance of “You, unfolding” (a piece written for her by the aforementioned husband) with the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society at Merkin Concert Hall, a performance later broadcast in 2009 on NPR’s “Performance Today.”