Kerry Kavalo

Assistant Principal+
kerry kavalo

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kerry Kavalo is thrilled to be joining Symphony Nova Scotia as Assistant Principal Viola.

Prior to joining Symphony Nova Scotia, Kerry was a viola fellow with the New World Symphony, America’s orchestral academy, in Miami Beach, Florida. He has served as Principal Viola under many renowned conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Bernard Labadie, and Lorin Maazel.

Summer festival appearances include Manchester Summer Chamber Music, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Castleton Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and Spoleto Festival USA.

Kerry has been a prizewinner of numerous solo competitions including the Ohio Viola Society, Tuesday Musical Club of Pittsburgh, and the Alexander & Buono International String Competition as a member of the Konova String Quartet.

Kerry thoroughly enjoys his opportunities through Symphony Nova Scotia to share the joys of music outside the concert hall, performing in schools and other cultural institutions. As a fellow at the New World Symphony, Kerry taught as part of the Young Artist Program, offering students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds private music lessons.

Recipient of the Horace and Marie Arnold Viola Award, Kerry earned a Bachelor’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Lynne Ramsey and Jeffrey Irvine.

In addition to being an active volunteer with the Ecology Action Centre and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Kerry proudly serves on the Board of the Blue Nose Marathon.  In his free time, Kerry enjoys copious amounts of great coffee and being an enthusiast of healthy living!

Kerry also serves on the Symphony Nova Scotia Board as a Musician Representative.

Kerry is on a one-year sabbatical from Symphony Nova Scotia.

Q&A with Kerry

Why did you begin playing your instrument?
Actually, when I began studying music, I wanted to play viola so much because not as many kids wanted to play it. However, there were no viola teachers at the Suzuki program at the time so I had to settle for violin. Just before high school, I was reunited with my true musical love.

Can you tell us a humorous anecdote about your experience with Symphony Nova Scotia?
During my trial weeks with Symphony Nova Scotia, the last day of rehearsal happened to be my birthday. My then future colleagues surprised me with a rendition of Happy Birthday during the tuning. I never have felt so welcomed yet so embarrassed at the same time.